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Monday, November 19, 2007


VATICAN CITY, NOV 17, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today, the Holy Father received participants in an international conference promoted by the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, which was held in the Vatican from November 15 to 17.

  The Pope noted that the theme of the meeting, the pastoral care of sick elderly people, "is a fundamental aspect of health care ministry." Those who accompany such people, he added, may ask themselves: "does the existence of a human being, when in a very precarious state because of age or infirmity, still have meaning? Why, when the challenge of sickness becomes so dramatic, should we not accept euthanasia as a form of liberation? Is it possible to live with illness as a human experience to be accepted with patience and courage?"

  After highlighting how "modern efficiency-oriented mentality" considers elderly sick people "as a 'burden' and a 'problem' for society," Benedict XVI indicated the need to adopt palliative care methods where required, even though they may not lead to a cure. "And alongside the indispensable clinical treatment," he said, "sick people have need of understanding, comfort and of constant encouragement and accompaniment.

  "Old people in particular," the Pope added, "need to be helped to follow the last stage of their earthly lives consciously and humanly, to prepare themselves serenely for death which - we Christians know - is the passage to the embrace of the heavenly Father, full of tenderness and mercy."

  The Holy Father then went on to emphasize how families should welcome their sick elderly members "and look after them with loving gratitude" so they may prepare for death "in an atmosphere of familial affection." Furthermore, he continued, "in the most difficult moments, sick people ... should be encouraged to find the strength to face their trials in prayer and the comfort of the Sacraments. They should be surrounded by brothers and sisters in the faith who are ready to listen to them and share their feelings. This, in fact, is the true aim of the 'pastoral' care of elderly people, especially when they are ill, and even more so when they are seriously ill."

  Benedict XVI recalled the "the exemplary witness of faith and courage" shown by John Paul II during his sickness, and the late Pope's call to scientists and doctors "to dedicate themselves to research to prevent and cure the illness associated with old age without ever giving in to the temptation to adopt practices that shorten elderly and sick lives, practices which would in effect constitute euthanasia."

  "Human life is a gift from God which we are all called to protect at all times," the Holy Father said. "What is needed is a generalized commitment so that human life may be respected, not only in Catholic hospitals but in all places that care for the sick."

  In closing the Pope highlighted how Jesus, "dying on the cross, gave human suffering transcendent value and significance. In the face of suffering and sickness believers are called not to lose their serenity because nothing, not even death, can separate us from Christ's love. In Him and with Him it is possible to face up to and overcome all physical and spiritual trials and, even in the moment of greatest suffering, experience the fruits of Redemption."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 17, 2007 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has announced that in St. Peter's Square at 10.30 a.m. on Saturday, November 24, Pope Benedict XVI will hold an Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of 23 new cardinals.

  Also in St. Peter's Square, at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday, November 25, Solemnity of Christ the King, the Holy Father will preside at a concelebrated Mass with the new cardinals, during which he will give them their ring of office.

  The program for the courtesy visits to the new cardinals has also been published; they will be held from 4.30 to 6.30 p.m. on November 24, in the following locations:


Atrium: Cardinals Francisco Robles Ortega, Urbano Navarrete S.J. and Umberto Betti O.F.M.

Hall: Cardinals Agustin Garcia-Gasco Vicente, Sean Baptist Brady, Lluis Martinez Sistach and Andre Vingt-Trois.


Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo.


Vicariate of Vatican City: Cardinal Angelo Comastri.

Library: Cardinal Giovanni Coppa.


Sala Regia: Cardinals Leonardo Sandri and John Patrick Foley.

Hall of Blessings: Cardinals Theodore-Adrien Sarr, Oswald Gracias, Daniel N. DiNardo, Odilo Pedro Scherer, John Njue, Emmanuel III Delly, Estanislao Esteban Karlic.

Sala Ducale: Cardinals Paul Josef Cordes and Stanislaw Rylko.

Sala dei Paramenti 1: Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco.

Sala dei Paramenti 2: Cardinal Raffaele Farina S.D.B.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 18, 2007 (VIS) - At midday, before praying the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope commented on today's reading from the Gospel, "a biblical vision of history" in which the words of Jesus "invite the disciples not to be afraid but to face difficulties, misunderstandings and even persecutions with trust, persevering in their faith in Him."

  In St. Luke's text, Christ tells His disciples: "When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified, for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately."

  The Pope explained: "Mindful of this warning the Church has, since the beginning, ... scrutinized the signs of the times and put the faithful on their guard against recurring expressions of Messianism which from time to time arise to announce the imminent end of the world. In reality history has to follow its course and this also involves human dramas and natural disasters. Over history a plan of salvation is developed, which Christ already fulfilled in His incarnation, death and resurrection. The Church continues to announce this mystery ... through preaching, celebration of the Sacraments and the witness of charity."

  "Let us accept Christ's invitation to face daily events trusting in His provident love," said the Holy Father. "Let us have no fear for the future, even when it appears dark and gloomy, because the God of Jesus Christ, who adopted history to open it to its transcendent fulfillment, is its alpha and omega, its beginning and end. He guarantees that each small but genuine act of love contains all the meaning of the universe, and that those who do not hesitate to lose their lives for Him find them fully."

  Consecrated people "maintain just such a perspective" said the Pope making particular mention of those "called to a life of contemplation in cloistered monasteries" to whom the Church will dedicate a special Day on November 21. "The monastery, as a spiritual oasis, shows today's world what is the most important, indeed the only decisive, factor: that there exists a definitive reason which makes life worthwhile and that is God and His ineffable love. Faith working through charity is the true antidote against a nihilist mentality which, in our time, is extending its influence ever more widely in the world."

  In remarks following the Angelus, the Holy Father turned his attention to Servant of God Antonio Rosmini, who will be beatified this afternoon in the Italian city of Novara. He was, said the Pope, "a great priest and an illustrious man of culture" who stood out "for what he himself called 'intellectual charity,' in other words the reconciliation of reason with faith.

  "May his example help the Church, and especially the Italian ecclesial communities, to grow in their awareness that the light of human reason is the light of Grace, when they advance together they become a source of blessings for human beings and for society."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 18, 2007 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus today, the Pope reiterated "the expression of my deepest condolences to the families" of Bangladesh, for the cyclone that struck the country a number of days ago "causing numerous victims and grave damage."

  "I appeal to international solidarity," the Pope continued, "which has already been activated to meet immediate necessities. And I encourage people to make every possible effort to help these our brothers and sisters who have been so sorely tried."

  Benedict XVI then went on to recall how today in Jordan the eighth assembly will begin of States signatories to the "Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on their Destruction." After recalling how "the Holy See is one of the principal promoters of this convention, which was adopted ten years ago," the Pope expressed his hope "for the success of the conference so that these devices, which continue to reap victims including many children, may be completely banned."

  The Holy Father also recalled the fact that today marks the Day dedicated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to victims of road accidents, and he gave assurances of his prayers "for everyone killed in traffic accidents and for their families." He also called for "the redoubling of efforts to ensure people drive carefully and protect their own lives and those of others. This is a duty of charity we owe one another," he said.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 19, 2007 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Pope received prelates from the Kenya Episcopal Conference who have just completed their five-yearly "ad limina" visit.

  Speaking English, the Pope began his talk to them by recalling that "it is bishops who, as ministers and signs of communion in Christ, are pre-eminently called to make manifest the unity of His Church." In this context he urged them "to continue your fraternal cooperation with one another in the spirit of the community of Christ's disciples, united in your love for Him and in the Gospel that you proclaim."

  "Within each diocese, the vibrancy and harmony of the presbyterate offers a clear sign of the vitality of the local Church. ... As bishops, we must constantly strive to build up the sense of community among our priests. ... We must be close to them and encourage them, in the first place, to remain firmly rooted in prayer. ... Let them drink deeply from the wells of Sacred Scripture and from the daily and reverent celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist. Let them give themselves generously to praying the Liturgy of the Hours."

  "A key focus of unity in a community is the institution of marriage and family life, which the people of Africa hold in particular esteem. ... This precious treasure must be guarded at all costs. All too often, the ills besetting some parts of African society, such as promiscuity, polygamy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, can be directly related to disordered notions of marriage and family life.

  "For this reason," he added, "it is important to assist parents in teaching their children how to live out a Christian vision of marriage, conceived as an indissoluble union between one man and one woman, essentially equal in their humanity and open to the generation of new life.

  "While this understanding of Christian family life finds a deep resonance in Africa, it is a matter of great concern that the globalized secular culture is exerting an increasing influence on local communities as a result of campaigns by agencies promoting abortion.

  "This direct destruction of an innocent human life can never be justified, however difficult the circumstances that may lead some to consider taking such a grave step. When you preach the Gospel of Life, remind your people that the right to life of every innocent human being, born or unborn, is absolute and applies equally to all people with no exception whatsoever"

  "The Catholic community must offer support to those women who may find it difficult to accept a child, above all when they are isolated from their family and friends. Likewise, the community should be open to welcome back all who repent of having participated in the grave sin of abortion, and should guide them with pastoral charity to accept the grace of forgiveness, the need for penance, and the joy of entering once more into the new life of Christ."

  Benedict XVI pointed out how the Church in Kenya "is well known for the fine contribution made by its educational institutions in forming generations of young people in sound ethical principles and in opening their minds to engage in peaceful and respectful dialogue with members of other social or religious groups.

  "At a time when a secularist and relativist mentality is increasingly asserting itself through global means of social communication, it is all the more essential that you continue to promote the quality and the Catholic identity of your schools, universities and seminaries. Take the steps necessary in order to affirm and clarify their proper institutional status," he concluded. "Today there is a particular need for highly trained professionals and persons of integrity in the area of medicine, where advances in technology continue to raise serious moral questions."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 19, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 - Three prelates from the Kenya Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Anthony Muheria of Embu.

    - Bishop Alfred Kipkoech Arap Rotich, military ordinary.

    - Bishop Anthony Ireri Mukobo I.M.C., apostolic vicar of Isiolo.

  On Saturday, November 17, he received in separate audiences:

 - Eight prelates from the Kenya Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop John Njue of Nairobi, apostolic administrator of Muranga, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop David Kamau Ng'ang'a, and by Archbishop emeritus Raphael Ndingi Mwana'a Nzeki.

    - Bishop Emmanuel Okombo Wandera of Kericho.

    - Bishop Martin Musonde Kivuva of Machakos, apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of Kitui.

    - Bishop Peter J. Kairo of Nakuru.

    - Bishop Cornelius Schilder of Ngong M.H.M., accompanied by Bishop emeritus Colin Cameron Davies M.H.M.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 19, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Msgr. Corrado Pizziolo of the clergy of the diocese of Treviso, Italy, vicar general, as bishop of Vittorio Veneto (area 1,420, population 332,540, Catholics 315,920, priests 299, permanent deacons 17, religious 761), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Scandolara di Zero Branco, Italy in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1975.

 - Archbishop Timothy Paul Broglio, apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic and apostolic delegate to Puerto Rico, as military ordinary for the United States of America.

  On Saturday, November 17, it was made public that he appointed:

 - Fr. Mariano Moreno Garcia O.S.A. pastor of the cathedral of the territorial prelature of Cafayate, Argentina, as prelate of Cafayate (area 46,847, population 60,126, Catholics 57,026, priests 15, permanent deacons 1, religious 31). The bishop-elect was born in Milagros, Spain in 1938 and ordained a priest in 1964.

 - Msgr. Terence Patrick Drainey of the clergy of the diocese of Salford, England, rector of St. Cuthbert's College in Ushaw, as bishop of Middlesbrough (area 4,000, population 1,133,553, Catholics 84,553, priests 145, permanent deacons 12, religious 185), England. The bishop-elect was born in Manchester, England in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1975.

 - Fr. Pietro Vittorelli O.S.B., monk and master of novices at Monte Cassino, Italy, as abbot of the same territorial abbey (area 567, population 79,500, Catholics 79,500, priests 73, religious 121). The abbot-elect was born in Rome in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1994.

 - Fr. Juan Antonio Martinez Camino S.J., secretary general of the Spanish Episcopal conference, as auxiliary of Madrid (area 3,663, population 4,050,000, Catholics 3,510,000, priests 3,186, permanent deacons 18, religious 9,972), Spain. The bishop-elect was born in Santa Cruz de Marcenado-Siero, Spain in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1980.

 - Archbishop Jose Octavio Ruiz Arenas, emeritus of Villavicencio, Colombia, and vice-president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, as a member of the Congregation for Bishops.

 - Archbishop Fernando Filoni, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, as a consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 19, 2007 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

 - Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, on November 8 at the age of 77.

 - Archbishop Maurice Noel Leon Couve de Muville, emeritus of Birmingham, England, on November 3 at the age of 78.

 - Bishop Joachim Phayao Manisap, emeritus of Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, on November 3 at the age of 78.

 - Bishop Pablo Antonio Vega Mantilla, emeritus of Juigalpa, Nicaragua, on November 14 at the age of 88.
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