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Monday, September 24, 2007


VATICAN CITY, SEP 24, 2007 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

 - Bishop Robert Bell Clune, former auxiliary of Toronto, Canada, on September 7 at the age of 86.

 - Bishop Giovanni Cogoni, emeritus of Iglesias, Italy, on September 12 at the age of 91.

 - Archbishop Luigi Dossena, apostolic nuncio, on September 9 at the age of 82.

 - Bishop Teresio Ferraroni, emeritus of Como, Italy, on September 4 at the age of 93.

 - Bishop Bernhard Huhn, former apostolic administrator of Gorlitz, Germany, on September 14 at the age of 86.

 - Bishop Jose Melgoza Osorio, emeritus of Netzahualcoyotl, Mexico, on September 4 at the age of 95.

 - Archbishop Jose Manuel Santos Ascarza O.C.D. emeritus of Concepcion, Chile, on September 14 at the age of 91.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 24, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences ten prelates from the Ukrainian Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Cardinal Marian Jaworski, archbishop of Lviv of the Latins, accompanied by Coadjutor Archbishop-elect Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, and by Auxiliary Bishop Leon Maly.

    - Bishop Leonid Maksymilian Dubrawski O.F.M. of Kamyanets-Podilskyi of the Latins, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Jan Niemiec.

    - Bishop Stanislaw Padewski O.F.M. Cap. of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia, accompanied by Coadjutor Bishop Marian Buczek.

    - Bishop Jan Purwinski of Kyiv-Zhytomyr, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Stanislav Szyrokoradiuk O.F.M. and Vitaliy Skomarovskyi.

  On Saturday, September 22, he received in audience Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 24, 2007 (VIS) - Late this morning, the Holy Father met with prelates of the Ukrainian Episcopal Conference who have just completed their "ad limina" visit. Apart from the bishops of Latin rite, also present at the audience were the bishops of Greek-Catholic rite.

  In his talk to them, the Pope highlighted the prelates' efforts "to proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel in the dear land of Ukraine, sometimes encountering no small number of difficulties but always supported by the awareness that Christ guides His flock with a sure hand, the flock that He Himself entrusted to your hands as His ministers."

  "In the variety of her rites and her historical traditions, the One Catholic Church in every corner of the earth announces and bears witness to the One Jesus Christ, the Word of salvation for all men and for all of man. It is for this reason that the effectiveness of all our pastoral and apostolic projects depends, above all, on faithfulness to Christ.

  "We pastors," the Pope added, "just like all the faithful, are called to experience an intimate and constant familiarity with Him in prayer and in meekly listening to His Word. This is the only road to follow in order to become signs of His love and instruments of His peace and harmony, in all fields of life."

  "Animated by this spirit," the Holy Father told the prelates, "it is not difficult for you ... to intensify cordial cooperation between Latin bishops and Greek-Catholic bishops, for the good of the entire Christian people. Thus you have the opportunity to coordinate your pastoral plans and your apostolic activities, always offering testimony of that ecclesial communion which is also an indispensable condition for ecumenical dialogue with our brethren in the Orthodox and other Churches."

  The Holy Father suggested to the Latin and Greek-Catholic bishops that they meet at least once a year, reaching "agreement between yourselves in order to make pastoral activity ever more harmonious and effective. I am convinced that fraternal cooperation between pastors will be an encouragement and a stimulus for all the faithful to grow in unity and apostolic enthusiasm, and that it will also favor fruitful ecumenical dialogue."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 24, 2007 (VIS) - Jose Cuadra Chamorro, the new ambassador of Nicaragua to the Holy See, today presented his Letters of Credence to the Holy Father who, in his address to the diplomat, expressed his best wishes to the nation "so sorely tried by the recent hurricane, Felix."

  Benedict XVI renewed assurances of his prayers for the victims and reaffirmed his spiritual closeness to the all those affected, voicing the hope that, "apart from internal aid, they also receive generous contributions for the international community."

  In order to resolve Nicaragua's various "economic, social and political problems" said the Holy Father, it is important for the country "to be able to rely, not only on the willingness and participation of citizens, but above all on that of the heads of various political and business groups. What is vital, then, is a union of effort and will to make it possible for political leaders to act decisively in the face of the challenges of a globalized world."

  In order to achieve the goals the Nicarguan government has set - such as "the so-called 'Zero Hunger' campaign, combating the drugs problem, increasing literacy, eliminating poverty," and "thus reducing the inequality between people who have a superabundance of wealth and those who lack the basic necessities" - what is vital "is transparency and honesty in public affairs which, in the face of any form of corruption, favor the authorities' credibility in the eyes of citizens."

  In trying to reach these objectives, said the Pope, "the heads of civil institutions will find in the Church of Nicaragua - notwithstanding her lack of resources and with a firmness in principles inspired by the Gospel - a sincere collaborator in seeking just solutions. They should also recognize the Church's efforts to increase the awareness and responsibility of citizens, encouraging their participation and commitment in serving the needs of people who are often immersed in poverty."

  "The bishops of your country," the Pope told the newly-accredited diplomat, "faithful to their strictly pastoral mission, are ready to maintain a dialogue - a constant and sincere communication - with the government, contributing to the creation of the essential conditions that favor true reconciliation, establishing a climate of peace and authentic social justice. Nonetheless 'the direct duty to work for a just ordering of society ... is proper to the lay faithful' who must undertake their political activity as 'social charity'."

  The Holy Father then expressed the Holy See's appreciation of Nicaragua "for the position she takes on social questions in the international arena, especially as regards the theme of life, and in the face of no small amount of internal and international pressure." He also considered "it very positive that last year the national assembly approved the revocation of therapeutic abortion," and affirmed the "need to increase the aid that Sate and society provide to women who have serious problems during pregnancy."

  Finally Benedict XVI dwelt on "the urgent necessity to retrieve and promote human and moral values in the face of so many forms of violence, even in the home and often as a result of the disintegration of families. ... The Church in Nicaragua is well aware of this sad state of affairs and seeks to face it with her teaching and her pastoral programs. However the intervention of public institutions is also necessary, with appropriate educational programs on matters concerning the organization of social life."


VATICAN CITY, SEP 23, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today, Benedict XVI appeared at the balcony overlooking the internal courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered there.

  Before the Marian prayer, the Pope recalled his visit that morning to the diocese of Velletri where he had dedicated his homily to "the correct use of worldly goods." Through the parable from the Gospel of St. Luke concerning a dishonest but shrewd manager, he said, Christ taught His disciples the best way to employ material wealth.

  "Money is not of itself 'dishonest'," affirmed the Holy Father, "but more than anything else it has the power to lead man into blind selfishness. What is needed, then, is to achieve a kind of 'conversion' of economic resources: instead of using them for our own interests, we must think of the needs of the poor, imitating Christ Himself Who ... 'though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich'."

  "At this point," he went on, "we could open a vast and complex field of reflection on the question of wealth and poverty, also on a world scale, in which two forms of economic logic come face to face: the logic of profit and that of the equal distribution of wealth. These do not contradict one another so long as their relationship is well regulated.

  "Catholic social doctrine," the Pope added, "has always supported the idea that the equal distribution of wealth is a priority," although "profit is, of course, legitimate and, in appropriate measure, necessary for economic development." In this context, Benedict XVI recalled how, in his Encyclical "Centesimus annus," John Paul II had written: "The modern business economy has positive aspects. Its basis is human freedom exercised in the economic field, just as it is exercised in many other fields." Yet, Pope Benedict added, "capitalism must not be considered as the only valid model of economic organization."

  "The urgent problems of hunger and the environment provide mounting evidence, that the logic of profit, if it prevails, increases the imbalance between rich and poor in a ruinous exploitation of the planet. When, on the other hand, the logic of sharing and solidarity prevails it is possible to alter and redirect our course towards equal and sustainable development."
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 23, 2007 (VIS) - This morning, the Holy Father made a pastoral visit to Velletri, south of Rome, where he presided at a Eucharistic celebration in the cathedral square. Benedict XVI held the title of the suburbicarian diocese of Velletri-Segni from the year 1993 until his election to the pontificate in April 2005. His successor as the titular holder of the diocese is Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, while the incumbent is Bishop Vincenzo Apicella.

  In his homily the Pope commented on today's Gospel reading of the dishonest manager, and reflected on the danger of excessive attachment to money and material wealth.

  "In truth," he told the several thousand faithful who had gathered to hear him, "life is always a choice: between faithfulness and unfaithfulness, between selfishness and altruism, between good and evil. The end of this particular Gospel passage is incisive and peremptory: no servant can serve two masters," which in the final analysis means "you cannot serve God and wealth."

  "A fundamental decision is, then, necessary," Pope Benedict proceeded, "the choice between the logic of profit as the ultimate criteria for our actions and the logic of sharing and solidarity. If the logic of profit prevails, the imbalance between poor and rich increases, as does the ruinous exploitation of the planet. When, on the other hand, the logic of sharing and solidarity prevails it is possible to alter and redirect our course towards equal development and the common good of everyone. Ultimately it is a decision between selfishness and love, between justice and dishonesty, ... between God and Satan.

  "If loving Christ and our fellow man is not considered as a superficial accessory," he added, "but rather as the real and ultimate aim of our entire life, we must know how to take fundamental decisions, to be ready to make radical sacrifices, if necessary even unto martyrdom. Today, as yesterday, the life of Christians calls for the courage to swim against the tide, to love like Jesus Who went so far as to sacrifice Himself upon the cross."

  After the Mass, the Pope blessed a bronze column given to him a year ago as a gift by 100 Bavarian cities to mark his apostolic trip to Germany and his 80th birthday. Two columns were made, one is in the Pope's home town of Marktl am Inn, the other has been donated by him to the diocese of Velletri-Segni.

  After bidding farewell to the civil and religious authorities of Velletri, the Holy Father returned to the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo where he prayed the Angelus.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 22, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Szczecin-Kamien, Poland, presented by Bishop Jan Galecki, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Accepted the resignation from the diocese of Koszalin-Kolobrzeg, Poland, presented by Bishop Tadeusz Werno, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed as members of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences: Mario Sensi, professor of medieval Church history at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome; Giampaolo Romanato, professor of modern history at the University of Padua, Italy; and Werner Maleczek, professor of medieval history at the University of Vienna, Austria.
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VATICAN CITY, SEP 22, 2007 (VIS) - This morning in Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father received participants in the traditional meeting of bishops who have been appointed over the course of the last twelve months. With them, he reflected on the apostolic and pastoral nature of a bishop's life of prayer.

  After highlighting how "the chief place in the life of a successor to the Apostles must be reserved for God," the Pope told the bishops to reserve a special mention for priests in their prayers, "that they may persevere in their vocation, faithful to the priestly mission with which they have been entrusted.

  "How edifying its," he added, "for each priest to know that his bishop - from whom he received the gift of priesthood or who is in any case his father and friend - remains close to him in prayer and affection, and is always ready to welcome him, listen to him, support and encourage him. Nor," he continued," in a bishop's prayers, should there ever be lacking a supplication for new vocations. They must be asked insistently of God, that He may call 'whom He will' to the sacred ministry."

  "Where men and women are constantly rushing and lose themselves, where people live as if God does not exist," the Pope told the newly-consecrated bishops, "create places and moments for prayer where, in silence, in listening to God through 'lectio divina,' in individual and community prayer, mankind can meet God and enjoy a living experience of Jesus Christ Who reveals the true face of the Father."

  The Holy Father exhorted the bishops "to make the cathedral an exemplary house of prayer, especially liturgical prayer, where the diocesan community united with their bishop can praise and thank God for His work of salvation, and intercede for all humankind."

  "Be men of prayer," Benedict XVI concluded. "In appealing to God for yourselves and for your faithful, have the trust of children, the boldness of a friend, and the perseverance of Abraham, who was tireless in his intercession."
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