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Monday, November 26, 2007


VATICAN CITY, NOV 24, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office yesterday released information concerning the meeting for prayer and reflection between the Pope and the members of the College of Cardinals, which took place on November 23 in the Vatican's New Synod Hall.

  The morning session began with a greeting pronounced by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, who was celebrating his 80th birthday that day.

  After congratulating Cardinal Sodano, the Pope introduced the theme he had chosen for the day's discussion, "ecumenical dialogue in the light of prayer and of the Lord's command: 'Ut unum sint'."

  Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, then "provided a broad outline of the current situation of ecumenical dialogue and relations, focussing on three main areas: relations with the ancient Churches of the East; relations with the ecclesial communities that came into being in the wake of the Reform of the 16th century; relations with charismatic and Pentecostal movements that developed above all during last century."

  Cardinal Kasper also presented "the results achieved in each of these fields, describing progress made to date and problems still outstanding."

  The subsequent debate "included a wide-ranging exchange of experiences and opinions, reflecting a variety of situations. Seventeen cardinals spoke and numerous problems were addressed, among them the joint ecumenical commitment of Christians in the social and charitable fields, and in defending moral values in the transformation of modern societies.

  "It was particularly noted," the communique adds, "that the Church's social doctrine and its implementation is one of the most promising areas for ecumenism. Mention was also made of the commitment to continue the 'purification of memory' and to use forms of communication" that no not "wound the sensibility of other Christians.

  "It was suggested that profound consideration be given to the possibilities for ecumenical development," in which context "recent and highly significant events were mentioned, such as the ecumenical assembly of Sibiu, Romania, the ecumenical and inter-religious meeting of Naples, Italy, the journey to Paris of Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow, and the great ecumenical gatherings of ecclesial movements at Stuttgart, Germany."

  Finally, "in the wider context, attention turned to relations with Judaism and to inter-religious dialogue."

  The meeting continued at 5 p.m. with the celebration of Vespers, after which contributions were forthcoming from 16 cardinals.

  "On the theme of ecumenism, further attention was given to questions such as collaboration among Christians of different confessions for the defense of the family in society and in legislative systems, and the importance of spiritual ecumenism and of personal relations with the faithful and with authorities of other Christian confessions.

  "A number of the contributions touched on relations with the Jews and with Islam. Mention was made of the encouraging sign represented by the letter from 138 Muslim leaders and by the visit of the king of Saudi Arabia to the Pope."

  Other subjects discussed included "the difficulties faced by the Christian faith in a secularized world, ...the importance of a new evangelization which responds to post-modern man's most profound and permanent hopes for happiness and freedom. On the continent of Latin America there exists a new missionary drive nourished also by the recent general conference of the Latin American episcopate held in Aparedica, Brazil.

  "Certain specific contributions were dedicated to the situation of consecrated life in the world today, and to the formation of seminarians.

  "The Holy Father's important letter to the Catholic Church in China was recalled, and its favorable reception by bishops and faithful was noted.

  "The urgency was underlined of the Church's commitment to peace, to the struggle against poverty and to disarmament, especially nuclear disarmament."

  "Certain purely informative contributions dwelt on the forthcoming international Eucharistic Congress, of Quebec, Canada, the Pauline Year, and the diffusion of the Catholic press and especially of 'L'Osservatore Romano.'

  "Following a brief reply from Cardinal Kasper on a number of specific points, the Holy Father delivered a concluding address, summing up what had been discussed. He thanked the cardinals for their participation and contributions and announced the forthcoming publication of his new Encyclical dedicated to the subject of hope, in response to the deepest expectations of our contemporaries."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 24, 2007 (VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica this morning, Benedict XVI celebrated his second Ordinary Public Consistory, during which he created 23 new cardinals.

  Following the opening liturgical greeting, the Holy Father read the formula of creation and solemnly proclaimed the names of the new cardinals. The first of them, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, then thanked the Pope in the name of all the others.

  After a Gospel reading, the Holy Father pronounced his homily.

  The College of Cardinals, he said, recreates "the ancient 'presbyterium' of the bishop of Rome, the members of which, while carrying out their pastoral and liturgical functions in the various Churches, ensured [the Pope] did not lack their precious collaboration in carrying out the duties associated with his universal apostolic ministry.

  "Times have changed," Pope Benedict added, "and the great family of Christ's disciples has today spread to every continent, ... it speaks almost every language of the world and its members include people from all cultures. The diversity of the members of the College of Cardinals, in terms of both geographical and cultural background, serves to underline this providential growth, at the same time highlighting the changing pastoral requirements to which the Pope is called to respond."

  Benedict XVI reminded the cardinals that each one of them "represents a portion of the mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church in every corner of the earth." Referring then to the communities entrusted to their care, he made particular mention of "those most tried by suffering, challenges and difficulties of various kinds" and especially "the dear Christian communities of Iraq."

  Iraqi Christians, he went on, "experience in their own flesh the dramatic consequences of enduring conflict, and are currently living in an extremely fragile and delicate political situation. By calling the Chaldean patriarch to enter the College of Cardinals, I have sought to give concrete expression to my spiritual closeness and affection for those peoples. Together let us reaffirm the solidarity of the entire Church towards Christians in that dear land, and invite people to call upon merciful God for ... the advent of reconciliation and peace."

  Commenting then on the Gospel of St. Mark which relates how "ambition caused the sons of Zebedee to claim for themselves the best positions in the kingdom of the Messiah," the Holy Father emphasized how "all true disciples of Christ aspire to just one thing: sharing His passion without seeking any reward. Christians are called to assume the status of 'servant,' following Jesus' footsteps, in other words to give their lives for others freely and disinterestedly.

  "Not the search for power and success but the humble giving of self for the good of the Church must characterize our every gesture and word," he added. "True Christian greatness, in fact, does not consist of domination but of service."

  "Be apostles of God, Who is Love, and witnesses of evangelical hope. This is what Christian people expect from you," the Pope concluded. "Christ calls on you to confess His truth before mankind, to embrace and to share His cause, and to do all this ... with that inner humility which is the result of cooperation with the grace of God."
  At the end of the homily the new cardinals made the profession of faith before the people of God, swearing their faithfulness and obedience to the Pope and his successors.

  One by one, in the order in which they were created, the new cardinals then came and knelt before the Holy Father who imposed the red "biretta" or hat and assigned them a titular or diaconate church in Rome as a sign of their participation in the Pope's pastoral concern for the city.

  The Pope gave each new cardinal his Bull of Creation and exchanged an embrace of peace with them. The cardinals then exchanged the same embrace with each other

  The celebration concluded with the prayer of the faithful, the recitation of the Our Father and the final blessing.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 24, 2007 (VIS) - Following are the names of the 23 new cardinals created by Pope Benedict XVI in this morning's consistory, and the titular or diaconate churches he assigned to them:

1. Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans.

2. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, diaconate of Sts. Blaise and Charles ai Catinari.

3. Cardinal John Patrick Foley, diaconate of St. Sebastian al Palatino.

4. Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, diaconate of St. Mary "Liberatrice" a Monte Testaccio.

5. Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, diaconate of St. Lawrence in Piscibus.

6. Cardinal Angelo Comastri, diaconate of St. Salvatore in Lauro.

7. Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, diaconate of the Sacred Heart of Christ the King.

8. Cardinal Raffaele Farina S.D.B., diaconate of St. John della Pigna.

9. Cardinal Agustín Garcia-Gasco Vicente, title of St. Marcellus.

10. Cardinal Sean Baptist Brady, title of Sts. Quiricus and Julitta.

11. Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, title of St. Sebastian at the Catacombs.

12. Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, title of San Luigi dei Francesi.

13. Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, title of the Gran Madre di Dio.

14. Cardinal Theodore-Adrien Sarr, title of St. Lucy a Piazza d'Armi.

15. Cardinal Oswald Gracias, title of St. Paul of the Cross a "Corviale."

16. Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, title of St. Mary of the Presentation.

17. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, title of St. Eusebius.

18. Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, title of St. Andrew al Quirinale.

19. Cardinal John Njue, title of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

20. Cardinal Giovanni Coppa, diaconate of St. Linus.

21. Cardinal Estanislao Esteban Karlic, title of the Our Lady of Sorrows in Piazza Buenos Aires.

22. Cardinal Urbano Navarrete S.J., diaconate de St. Pontian.

23. Cardinal Umberto Betti O.F.M., diaconate of Sts. Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 24, 2007 (VIS) - A note released today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff provides details concerning the taking of possession of the following titles and diaconates:

  Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy, will take possession of the title of Gran Madre di Dio, at Via Cassia 1, Rome, at 5 p.m. on Monday November 26.

  Cardinal John Patrick Foley, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, will take possession of the diaconate of St. Sebastian al Palatino, at Via di San Bonaventura 1, Rome, at 5 p.m. on Tuesday November 27.

  Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, will take possession of the diaconate of Sts. Blaise and Charles ai Catinari, at Piazza Benedetto Cairoli 117, Rome, at 6.30 p.m. on Sunday December 2.


VATICAN CITY, NOV 25, 2007 (VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica at 10.30 a.m. today, Solemnity of Christ the King, the Pope presided at a Eucharistic concelebration with the 23 new cardinals created in yesterday's consistory. During the course of the ceremony he presented them with their ring of office.

  In his homily, the Holy Father affirmed that the crucified Christ represents "the maximum possible revelation in this world of God's love, because God is love and Jesus' death on the cross is the greatest act of love in all of history." In this context he recalled the fact that the crucifixion is depicted on the cardinal's ring of office. "This for you," he told the neo-cardinals, "will be a permanent invitation to remember what King you serve, to what throne He was raised, and how He remained faithful unto the end to triumph over sin and death with the power of divine mercy.

  "The Mother Church, bride of Christ," he added, "gives you this token in remembrance of her Bridegroom, Who loved her and gave Himself for her. Thus, by wearing the cardinal's ring, you are constantly reminded to give your own lives for the Church."

  "How can we not feel," Pope Benedict asked, "the joy and the responsibility of serving this King, of bearing witness with life and word to His lordship? This, in particular, is our task venerable brother cardinals: announcing to the world the truth of Christ, hope for each human being and for the entire human family."

  He went on: "It is a consoling for me to know that I can always rely on you, both collegially and individually, so that I too may carry out the fundamental duty of the Petrine ministry."

  The Holy Father identified an aspect "closely associated" with this mission: "peace among all of Christ's disciples, as a sign of the peace that Jesus came into the world to establish."

  "The Church," the Pope explained, "is that part of humanity in which Christ's regality already appears, and has as its principal manifestation peace. She is the new Jerusalem, still imperfect because a pilgrim in history, but capable in some way of anticipating the heavenly Jerusalem."

  Benedict XVI concluded by reminding the cardinals that "prayer for peace and unity is your primary and principal mission, that the Church may be 'firm and united,' a sign and instrument of unity for the entire human race."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 25, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today, following this morning's Eucharistic concelebration in the Vatican Basilica with the cardinals created in yesterday's consistory, the Holy Father came out into St. Peter's Square to pray the Angelus with thousands of pilgrims gathered there.

  Benedict XVI began his remarks by recalling that "this Tuesday in Annapolis, U.S.A., Israelis and Palestinians, with the help of the international community, aim to relaunch the negotiating process in order to find a just and definitive solution to the conflict which, for the last 60 years, has bloodied the Holy Land and brought so many tears and so much suffering to the two peoples.

  "I ask you," he added, "to join the Day of Prayer called for today by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to implore, from the Spirit of God, peace for that region so dear to us, and the gifts of wisdom and courage for all participants in this important meeting."

  The Pope then went on to greet those present in several languages, expressing his "special gratitude" to the faithful "who have come from afar to accompany the new cardinals and participate in this event, which is such a singular expression of the unity and universality of the Catholic Church."

  At 1.15 p.m., in the atrium of the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father had lunch with the new cardinals and with other cardinals who had come to Rome for the consistory and for the meeting of prayer and reflection held on November 23.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 26, 2007 (VIS) - In the Paul VI Hall at 11.30 a.m. today, the Holy Father received the 23 new cardinals created in the consistory held on Saturday, November 24. With the prelates were members of their families and other faithful who have accompanied them to Rome.

  "The consistory and yesterday's Eucharistic celebration," said the Pope, "have provided us with a unique opportunity to experience the catholicity of the Church, well represented by the varied provenance of the members of the College of Cardinals, gathered in close communion around Peter's Successor."

  Having greeted the new cardinals in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish, the Pope addressed them all together giving them assurances of his prayers and asking them always to accompany him with "your valuable human and pastoral experience.

  "I place great reliance on your precious support in order to be able to carry out my ministry to the entire people of God," added Benedict XVI. He then addressed the families and friends of the new cardinals whom he asked to keep on praying for them and for him, "that communion between pastors and the Pope may remain solid, so as to present the whole world with the testimony of a Church faithful to Christ and ready to meet the spiritual hopes and needs of modern man with prophetic courage."

  The Holy Father concluded: "Returning to your dioceses, bear my greetings and the assurances of my constant prayers to the Lord. Upon you, dear cardinals, and upon everyone present here, I invoke the protection of the heavenly Mother of God and of the saintly Apostles Peter and Paul."
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 26, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., archbishop of Quebec, Canada.

 - A delegation from Iraq.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 26, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Jesus Tirso Blanco S.D.B., vice-inspector of the Salesians in Angola, as bishop of Lwena (area 223,043, population 700,000, Catholics 140,000, priests 20, religious 20), Angola. The bishop-elect was born in Ramos Mejia, Argentina in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1985.
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