Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


VATICAN CITY, NOV 22, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Antonio Muniz Fernandes O. Carm., of Guarabira, Brazil, as archbishop of Maceio (area 8,545, population 1,469,000, Catholics 955,000, priests 61, permanent deacons 24, religious 240), Brazil. The archbishop-elect was born in Princesa Isabel, Brazil in 1952, he was ordained a priest in 1980 and consecrated a bishop in 1998. He succeeds Archbishop Jose Carlos Melo C.M., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Paulo Sergio Machado of Ituiutaba, Brazil, as bishop of Sao Carlos (area 13,056, population 1,029,854, Catholics 751,793, priests 119, permanent deacons 22, religious 171), Brazil.
NER:RE/.../MUNIZ:MELO:MACHADO                    VIS 20061122 (120)


VATICAN CITY, NOV 22, 2006 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., has written a note concerning a forthcoming book by Benedict XVI, scheduled for publication in the spring of 2007. The title of the volume is: "Gesu di Nazareth. Dal Battesimo nel Giordano alla Trasfigurazione" (Jesus of Nazareth, From His Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration).

  The Vatican Publishing House, which holds the copyright on all the Pope's writings, has ceded the world rights for the translation, distribution and marketing of this book to the Rizzoli Publishing House.

  "The fact that Benedict XVI has managed to complete the first part of his great book on Jesus, and that within a few months we will have it in our hands, is wonderful news," writes Fr. Lombardi in his note. "I find it extraordinary that despite the duties and concerns of the pontificate, he has managed to complete a work of such great academic and spiritual depth. He says he dedicated all his free time to the project; and this itself is a very significant indication of the importance and urgency the book has for him.

  "With his habitual simplicity and humility, the Pope explains that this is not a 'work of Magisterium' but the fruit of his own research, and as such it can be freely discussed and criticized. This is a very important observation, because it makes clear that what he writes in the book in no way binds the research of exegetes and theologians. It is not a long encyclical on Jesus, but a personal presentation of the figure of Jesus by the theologian Joseph Ratzinger, who has been elected as Bishop of Rome."

  In the book's preface, Fr. Lombardi's note says, the Holy Father "explains that in modern culture, and in many presentations of the figure of Jesus, the gap between the 'historical Jesus' and the 'Christ of the faith' has become ever wider. ... Joseph Ratzinger, taking into consideration all the achievements of modern research, aims to present the Jesus of the Gospels as the real 'historical Jesus,' as a sensible and convincing figure to Whom we can and must trustingly refer, and upon Whom we have good reason to base our faith and our Christian life. With his book, then, the Pope aims to offer a fundamental service to support the faith of his brothers and sisters, and he does so from the central element of the faith: Jesus Christ."

  In the introduction to the book, Fr. Lombardi continues, "Jesus is presented to us as the new Moses, the new prophet who speaks with 'God face to face,' ... the Son, deeply united to the Father. If this essential aspect is overlooked, the figure of Jesus become contradictory and incomprehensible. With passion, Joseph Ratzinger speaks to us of Jesus' intimate union with the Father, and wishes to ensure that Jesus' disciples participate in this communion. It is, then, a great work of exegesis and theology, but also a great work of spirituality."

  Fr. Lombardi concludes: "Recalling the profound impression and the spiritual fruits that, as a young man, I drew from reading Joseph Ratzinger's first work - 'Introduction to Christianity' - I am sure that this time too we will not be disappointed, but that both believers and all people truly disposed to understand more fully the figure of Jesus, will be immensely grateful to the Pope for his great witness as a thinker, scholar and man of faith, on the most essential point of the entire Christian faith."
OP/BOOK BENEDICT XVI/LOMBARDI                    VIS 20061122 (600)


VATICAN CITY, NOV 22, 2006 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience, Benedict XVI mentioned the attack yesterday in Lebanon in which Pierre Gemayel, the country's industry minister, was assassinated.

  "I firmly condemn this brutal attack," said Pope Benedict, "and give assurances of my prayers and my spiritual closeness to the family in mourning, and to the beloved Lebanese people. In the face of the dark forces that seek to destroy the country, I invite all Lebanese not to allow themselves to be overcome by hatred, but to reinforce national unity, justice and reconciliation, and to work together to build a future of peace. Finally, I invite leaders of the nations that have the fate of this region at heart to contribute to finding a global negotiated solution to the various situations of injustice that have existed for too many years."
AG/APPEAL:LEBANON/GEMAYEL                    VIS 20061122 (160)


VATICAN CITY, NOV 22, 2006 (VIS) - The Church in the life and thought of St. Paul, the last in a series of lessons focussing on the figure of the Apostle, was the theme of Benedict XVI's catechesis during the general audience, held this morning in a rain-swept St. Peter's Square.

  The Pope recalled how St. Paul's "first contact with the person of Jesus came about through the witness of the Christian community of Jerusalem. ... This gives us the opportunity to make a first important observation: normally we come to Jesus, either to accept Him or refuse Him, through the mediation of the community of believers."

  "In a certain way this also happened to St. Paul," said the Pope, although in Paul's case "adherence to the Church was facilitated by a direct intervention of Christ, Who, revealing Himself on the road to Damascus, identified Himself with the Church and made Paul understand that to persecute the Church was to persecute Him. ... From this we can understand why the Church was so present in the thoughts, heart and activity of St. Paul."

  He "founded many Churches in the various cities he visited as an evangelizer." And "in his Letters, Paul also explains his doctrine on the Church. ... Particularly well-known is his definition of the Church as the 'body of Christ,' which is not to be found in other first-century Christian writers."

  "The deepest roots of this surprising definition of the Church," the Holy Father went on, "are to be found in the Sacrament of the body of Christ. ... In the Eucharist, Christ gives us His Body and makes us His Body. ... In this way, Paul brings us to understand that not only does the Church belong to Christ, but that there is also some form of equivalence and identification between the Church and Christ. Thence springs the greatness and nobility of the Church, in other words, of all of us who, as limbs of Christ, are part of the Church, almost an extension of His personal presence in the world."

  "Thence also derive Paul's exhortations regarding the various charisms that animate and give structure to the Christian community," the Holy Father affirmed. "However, it is important that all such charisms work together to build the community and do not become a cause of its break-up."

  "Of course, underscoring the need for unity does not mean that ecclesial life must be rendered uniform and dull. ... However, if there is one criterion that Paul holds dear it is that of mutual edification. ... One of the Pauline Letters even goes so far as to present the Church as the bride of Christ, ... both in the sense that love must be exchanged," and that "we must be passionately faithful to Him."

  Benedict XVI concluded: "In the final analysis, what is involved is a relationship of communion: vertically between Jesus Christ and all of us, but also horizontally among all those who identify themselves in the world by calling 'on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ'."
AG/ST. PAUL/...                                VIS 20061122 (520)

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service