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Monday, October 1, 2007


VATICAN CITY, SEP 29, 2007 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has sent a telegram of condolence to Archbishop Telesphore George Mpundu of Lusaka, Zambia, for the death yesterday at the age of 96 of Cardinal Adam Kozlowiecki S.J., a missionary in Africa and the first metropolitan archbishop of Lusaka.

  "Having learned with sorrow of the death of Cardinal Adam Kozlowiecki, S.J., I offer heartfelt condolences to you and all the clergy, religious and laity of the archdiocese of Lusaka, together with the members of the Society of Jesus. Recalling with gratitude the first archbishop of Lusaka's selfless years of zealous episcopal and missionary service, unwavering commitment to the spread of the Gospel and service to the Universal Church, I join you in praying that God our merciful Father will grant him the reward of his labours and welcome his noble soul into the joy and peace of His eternal Kingdom. To all assembled for the solemn Mass of Christian burial I cordially impart my apostolic blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in the Lord."
TGR/DEATH KOZLOWIECKI/MPUNDU                VIS 20071001 (190)


VATICAN CITY, SEP 29, 2007 (VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica today, Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Benedict XVI conferred episcopal ordination upon Msgrs. Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, coadjutor archbishop-elect of Lviv of the Latins, Ukraine; Francesco Giovanni Brugnaro, archbishop-elect of Camerino-San Severino-Marche, Italy; Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church and of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology; Tommaso Caputo, apostolic nuncio-elect to Malta and Libya; Sergio Pagano, prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives, and Vincenzo Di Mauro, secretary of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

  At the beginning of his homily, the Holy Father addressed a special greeting to Msgr. Mokrzycki who had been secretary to John Paul II for a number of years, serving alongside the now-Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz. "Following my own election as Successor of Peter," said Pope Benedict, "he also served as my secretary, showing great humility, competence and dedication."

  Referring to today's feast, Benedict XVI indicated how "the names of the three Archangels all end with the word 'El,' meaning 'God.' God is written into their names and into their nature." The angels "are messengers of God. ... And precisely because they are close to God, they can also be very close to man."

  "If the early Church called bishops 'angels' of their Church, what this meant was that bishops must be men of God, that they must live with their faces turned towards God," the Pope said.

  He then went on to identify the two functions of the Archangel Michael as defined by Holy Scripture, saying "he defends the cause of the oneness of God against the presumption of the dragon, of the 'old serpent'," and he is "the protector of the People of God. Dear friends," the Pope told the newly-ordained bishops," be true 'guardian angels' of the Churches entrusted to you. Help the People of God - whom you must precede on their pilgrimage - to find joy in the faith, to learn the discernment of spirits, ... and ever more to become, by virtue of hope in the faith, people who love in communion with God-Love."

  Gabriel is "the messenger of the incarnation of God. ... Through him God asks Mary ... to give her human flesh to the eternal Word of God."

  Even today God "needs people who, so to say, put their flesh at His disposal," said the Pope, reminding the new bishops that their task "is to knock in Christ's name at the hearts of men and women. ... [Thus] you will assume Gabriel's own function: that of bringing the call of Christ to humankind."

  Raphael "is presented to us ... in the Book of Tobit as the angel entrusted with the task of healing. ... To announce the Gospel ... means to heal because man has, above all, need of the truth and of love."

  The Book of Tobit, said the Pope, mentions "two emblematic episodes of healing" by the Archangel. "He heals the unstable communion between man and woman. He cures their love ... and gives them the chance to accept one another forever. ... In the New Testament the order of marriage ... is healed by the fact that Christ accepts it within His redeeming love. He makes marriage a Sacrament."

  "Secondly, the Book of Tobit speaks of the curing of blind eyes. ... How great is the danger - in the face of everything we know about the material world, and are capable of doing to it - that we become blind to the light of God! To cure this blindness through the message of faith and the witness of love is the service of Raphael, entrusted day after day to priests and, especially, to bishops. And thus we are spontaneously led to think of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Sacrament of Penitence, which, in the most profound sense of the word, is a Sacrament of healing."
AC/CONSECRATION BISHOPS/...                VIS 20071001 (670)


VATICAN CITY, SEP 29, 2007 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter from the Pope to Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., naming him as pontifical legate to the solemn closing celebrations marking the 90th anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal, due to be held on October 12 and 13.

  Cardinal Bertone will be accompanied on his mission by Fr. Jorge Manuel Faria Garda, vicar general of the diocese of Lerida-Fatima; Fr. Luciano Coelho Cristino, dean of the Chapter of Canons; Msgr. Luigi Roberto Cona, secretary of the apostolic nunciature to Portugal, and by Fr. Lech Piechota, official of the Secretariat of State.

  Also made public today was a Letter from the Pope to Cardinal Godfried Danneels, archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium, appointing him as special papal envoy to celebrations marking the millennium of the construction of the basilica of Saint-Remi, due to be held in Reims, France, on October 7. Cardinal Danneels will be accompanied on his mission by Msgr. Jules Massin, titular canon, archpriest emeritus of the basilica of Saint-Remi and former chancellor of the archbishopric, and by Fr. Andre Rousselle, archpriest emeritus of the basilica of Saint-Remi.
BXVI-LETTER/.../BERTONE:DANNEELS            VIS 20071001 (210)


VATICAN CITY, SEP 30, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today, during his last Angelus at Castelgandolfo before returning to the Vatican, Benedict XVI commented on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, as recounted in the Gospel according to Luke.

  "The rich man personifies the iniquitous use of wealth by one who uses his riches for unbridled and selfish luxury," the Pope explained, "while the poor man represents the individual whom only God cares for. ... God does not forget those who are forgotten by everyone. ... The story shows how earthly iniquity is overturned by divine justice. After death Lazarus is welcomed ... into eternal beatitude, while the rich man ends 'in agony in the flames'."

  The Holy Father also pointed out how the parable can "be given a social meaning," and he recalled the "memorable" interpretation which Pope Paul VI gave it in his Encyclical "Populorum Progressio." Quoting the Encyclical, Pope Benedict said that combating hunger "involves building a human community where men can live truly human lives, ... where the needy Lazarus can sit down with the rich man at the same banquet table." As for the causes of poverty, they are, on the one hand, "servitude to other men" and, on the other, "natural forces which are not yet satisfactorily controlled."

  Pope Benedict continued: "Unfortunately, some people suffer from both these factors together. At this moment, how can we not think especially of sub-Saharan Africa struck by grave flooding in recent days? And nor can we forget many other humanitarian emergencies in various parts of the earth, where conflicts for political and economic power make serious environmental problems even worse."

  "The appeal launched by Paul VI - 'The hungry nations of the world cry out to the peoples blessed with abundance' - still maintains all its validity today," the Holy Father added. "We cannot say that we do not know which path to follow. We have the Law and the Prophets, Jesus tells us in the Gospel. Those who do not wish to listen would not change even if someone returned from the dead to warn them."

  The Holy Father concluded his remarks by calling upon the Virgin Mary to help us "become more attentive to our brothers and sisters in need, to share with them the much or little we have and to contribute ... to spreading the logic and practice of true solidarity."
ANG/WEALTH/CASTELGANDOLFO                VIS 20071001 (410)


VATICAN CITY, SEP 30, 2007 (VIS) - In his comments following today's Angelus at Castelgandolfo the Pope expressed the hope that a peaceful solution may be found to the problems currently afflicting Myanmar, and encouraged dialogue between North Korea and South Korea as a way to stability and peace in the entire region.

  "I am following the grave events of these days in Myanmar with great concern," he said, "and I wish to express my spiritual closeness to that dear people at this moment of painful trial. As I give assurances of my solidary and intense prayer and invite the entire Church to do the same, it is my heartfelt hope that a peaceful solution be found, for the good of the nation.

  "I also entrust to your prayers the situation on the Korean peninsula where a number of important developments in dialogue between the two Koreas are giving rise to hope that the current efforts towards reconciliation may be consolidated, to the advantage of the Korean people and to the benefit of stability and peace in the entire region."

  The Pope then went on to greet pilgrims in Polish, recalling that today at Nysa, in the Polish diocese of Opole, the beatification had taken place of Servant of God Mary Louise Merkert, Polish religious, co-foundress and first superior general of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Elizabeth (1817-1872). "She," said the Holy Father, "stood out for her concern for the sick, the poor and the abandoned. May the witness of Mary Louise's life be an encouragement for us to see the face of Christ in the needy."
ANG/MYANMAR:KOREA:BLESSED/...                VIS 20071001 (280)


VATICAN CITY, OCT 1, 2007 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter from Benedict XVI to Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, for the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, patron saint of missions, in which he recalls that "the 'Pilgrimage of Lisieux' and the 'Missionary Cooperation' of the French Episcopal Conference hope that the year 2007 will be a Year of Mission in Lisieux."

  In the text, which is dated September 12, the Pope affirms that with such a hope the faithful are encouraged "tirelessly to recognize the importance of mission, so that Christ may be known and loved everywhere." This is what Pius XII wrote 50 years ago in his Encyclical "Fidei donum" when he invited Christians "to pay renewed attention to missions at the confines of the earth, affirming the need for cooperation among the entire Church in order to spread the Gospel."

  "With this same spirit," writes Benedict XVI in his Letter, "and aware of the concern felt in France for the missions of the Church, it is my hope that missionary vocations may be forthcoming among priests consecrated people and laity, like those of missionaries of earlier centuries who traversed all the continents. May the Lord awaken in the hearts of many young people the desire to commit themselves completely to announcing the salvation of Christ, above all in Africa, South America, Asia and Oceania!"

  The Pope recalls how "Therese of Lisieux, without leaving her Carmelite convent, ... lived, in her own way, an authentic missionary spirit, ... presenting the entire world a with a new spiritual path, which earned her the title of Doctor of the Church. From Pius XI to our own times, Popes have never failed to reiterate the links between prayer, charity and action in the mission of the Church."

  "I hope, then," the Holy Father concludes, "that the celebrations in Lisieux for this Year of Mission may strengthen the baptized in their sense of mission, through prayer, the witness of life and Christian commitment in all its forms, so that all the faithful may become missionaries in the places where they live."


VATICAN CITY, OCT 1, 2007 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has written a Message to Metropolitan Daniel of Moldova and Bucovna for yesterday's enthronement ceremony in Bucharest, Romania, by which he became the new Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The election of Daniel as the new patriarch, to succeed His Beatitude Teoctist, took place on September 12.

  A delegation representing the Holy Father was Present at the coronation ceremony, led by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. He presented the new patriarch both with the Holy Father's Message and with the gift of a chalice.

  In the Message, the Pope calls upon the Holy Spirit "to help the Romanian Orthodox Church in her development, that with renewed vitality she may face the challenges and the material and spiritual reorganization necessary for the period in which we are living, following the difficulties of the recent past, when there were numerous limitations to freedom and at times outright persecutions."

  "May the Lord accompany you," the Pope continues, "that your Church may respond to the expectations of the Romanian people and give them the hope they need to travel the road of life, transmitting to young generations the fundamental moral and spiritual values they need to face the various ideological currents that currently attract a large number of our contemporaries."

  The Holy Father expresses the hope that relations between Catholics and Orthodox "may grow stronger in order to respond to the current needs of Europe and the world, both in the religious and social fields. The joint witness of Christians is becoming ever more necessary in order to respond to our vocation and the urgent needs of our time."

  After highlighting Patriarch Daniel's own desire to intensify dialogue between Orthodox and Catholics so as to ponder "crucial questions in our relationship," the Pope concludes by stressing the need "to resolve, with patience, reciprocal charity and hope, themes which are less important but which, at a local level, continue to hinder fraternal communion between Catholics and Orthodox."


VATICAN CITY, OCT 1, 2007 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for October is: "That the Christians who are in minority situations may have the strength and courage to live their faith and persevere in bearing witness to it."

  His mission intention is: "That Missionary Day may be a propitious occasion for kindling an ever greater missionary awareness in every baptized person."
BXVI-PRAYER INTENTIONS/OCTOBER/...            VIS 20071001 (70)


VATICAN CITY, OCT 1, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Archbishop Francesco Giovanni Brugnaro of Camerino-San Severino-Marche, Italy, accompanied by members of his family.

 - Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church and of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology, accompanied by members of his family.

 - Archbishop Tommaso Caputo, apostolic nuncio to Malta and Libya, accompanied by members of his family.

 - Bishop Sergio Pagano, prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives, accompanied by members of his family.

 - Bishop Vincenzo Di Mauro, secretary of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, accompanied by members of his family.
AP/.../...                                VIS 20071001 (130)

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