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Wednesday, October 3, 2007


VATICAN CITY, OCT 3, 2007 (VIS) - This morning the Pope returned to the Vatican Apostolic Palace at the end of his period of summer residency at Castelgandolfo. Upon his arrival he went to St. Peter's Square where he held his weekly general audience, dedicating his catechesis today to the figure of St. Cyril of Alexandria. The audience was attended by around 40,000 people.

  Cyril, the Pope explained, was known in the ancient Church as "the 'custodian of accuracy,' in other words, custodian of the true faith," and always sought "to show the continuity of his theology with tradition. He deliberately and explicitly identified himself with Church tradition, which he recognized as a guarantee of continuity with the Apostles and with Christ Himself."

  Elected as bishop of Alexandria in the year 412, he governed that see for 30 years, combating the preaching of Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople who, separating Christ's human nature from His divine nature, considered Mary as "mother of Christ" and not "mother of God." In Nestorius' Antiochean Christology a concern for "safeguarding the importance of Christ's humanity led to the assertion that it was divided from His divinity, thus denying the true union between God and man in Christ."

  Cyril immediately rejected this idea reaffirming "the duty of pastors to protect the faith of the People of God." This criterion, the Pope explained, "remains valid today" because "the faith of the People of God is an expression of the tradition" of the Church. For this reason Cyril reminded Nestorius that "the teaching of the faith must be presented to people irreprehensibly ... and that whoever disturbs the smallest of those who believe in Christ will suffer unbearable punishment."

  St. Cyril defines his faith in Christ when he writes "the natures which came together into true unity are different, but from both there arose the One Christ and Son, not because by their unity the difference between human and divine nature has been eliminated, but because humanity and divinity, inexpressibly united, ... have produced the One Lord, Christ, the Son of God."

  "What Cyril especially teaches us," said Benedict XVI, "is that the Christian faith is, above all, the meeting with Christ, 'an event, a Person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.' And of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God, St. Cyril was a tireless and staunch witness, highlighting above all His unity. ... One only is the Son, One only is the Lord Jesus Christ, both before and after His incarnation. ... We believe that what existed from the beginning, was born of woman ... and will, in keeping with His promises, remain ever present.

  "This is important," the Pope concluded, "the eternal God was born of a woman and remains with us always. We live with this trust and in it we find the direction of our lives."
AG/CYRIL ALEXANDRIA/...                    VIS 20071003 (490)


VATICAN CITY, OCT 3, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Zanoni Demettino Castro of the clergy of the archdiocese of Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil, pastor of the parish of "Sao Jose" at Itapetinga and diocesan administrator "sede vacante" of the same archdiocese, as bishop of Sao Mateus (area 14,966, population 437,229, Catholics 315,000, priests 35, religious 50), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Vitoria da Conquista in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1986. He succeeds Bishop Aldo Gerna M.C.C.I., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
NER:RE/.../CASTRO:GERNA                    VIS 20071003 (110)

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