Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Thursday, January 31, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 31 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences five prelates of the Greek-Catholic Church of Ukraine, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Mykola Simkaylo of Kolomyia-Chernivtsi of the Ukrainians.

    - Bishop Julian Voronovsky of Sambir-Drohobych of the Ukrainians, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Jaroslav Pryriz C.SS.R.

    - Bishop Mychajlo Koltun C.SS.R. of Sokal of the Ukrainians.

    - Bishop Vasyl Semeniuk of Ternopil-Zboriv of the Ukrainians.
AL/.../...                                VIS 20080131 (80)


VATICAN CITY, 31 JAN 2008 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office this morning, the First World Apostolic Congress on Mercy was presented. The congress is due to be held in Rome from 2 to 6 April.

  Participating in the press conference were Cardinal Christoph Schonborn O.P., archbishop of Vienna, Austria and president of the congress, Fr. Patrice Chocholski, co-ordinater general, and Mauro Parmeggiani, secretary general of the vicariate of Rome.

  It is a good sign, said Cardinal Schonborn, that the first world congress on mercy should open on 2 April, third anniversary of the death of John Paul II, because "that great and unforgettable Pope, from his boyhood on, remained fascinated by the secret of divine mercy. In the year 2002, at the inauguration of a magnificent shrine to divine mercy at Krakow-Lagiewniki, Poland, he said: 'There is no source of hope for human beings, save the mercy of God'".

  Hence "the congress in Rome must clearly show that mercy is the central core of the Christian message", the cardinal said. "This message promotes peace in the world, between peoples and religions. It helps people to discover the true face of God, but also the true face of man and of the Church.

  "Many believers", he added, "consider it a special sign that John Paul II died on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday, which he himself had introduced during the Holy Year 2000, ... and which is closely associated with the figure of Faustina Kowalska, whom John Paul II proclaimed as a saint on 30 April of that same year".

  The archbishop of Vienna recalled how during the saint's life (1905-1938) the message of divine mercy was "a special support and an inexhaustible source of hope ... for all the Polish people. This message is more necessary than ever in our own times, as the daily news constantly confirms".

  "In 2004 John Paul II appealed to the entire Church to be 'witness to mercy'", said the cardinal. "While at the Regina Coeli prayer on 3 April 2005 he would have said: 'Love changes hearts and brings peace. How great is the need for mercy in the world'. Death prevented that great Pope from pronouncing those words, but the message has lost none of its validity or relevance".

  Cardinal Schonborn concluded: "The message of John Paul II and of Faustina Kowalska is not some abstract principle, it has a name and a face: Jesus. ... "Looking to Christ', that is the heritage of John Paul II, it was also the theme of Benedict XVI's visit to Austria last year, and will be the nucleus of the First World Apostolic Congress on Mercy".
OP/CONGRESS:MERCY/SCHONBORN                VIS 20080131 (460)


VATICAN CITY, 31 JAN 2008 (VIS) - This morning, Benedict XVI received participants in the plenary session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is being held this week in the Vatican.

  The Pope recalled how last year the congregation published "two important documents presenting ... certain clarifications necessary for the correct functioning of ecumenical dialogue, and of dialogue with the religions and cultures of the world".

  The first of these documents, "Responses to some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church", confirms that "the one and only Church of Christ has subsistence, permanence and stability in the Catholic Church and, consequently, that the unity, indivisibility and indestructibility of the Church of Christ is not invalidated by separations and divisions among Christians".

  The Holy Father went on to note how the document calls attention "to the difference that still persists between the different Christians confessions, as concerns their understanding of 'being Church' in a strictly theological sense. This, far from impeding true ecumenical commitment, will be a stimulus to ensuring that discussion of doctrinal questions is always carried out with realism, and with complete awareness of the aspects that still divide Christian confessions", he said.

  The Pope then referred to the other document published by the congregation last year, the "Doctrinal Note on some aspects of evangelisation", issued in December. "Faced with the risk of persistent religious and cultural relativism", he said, this document "stresses that the Church, in a time of dialogue between religions and cultures, is not dispensed from the need to evangelise and undertake missionary activity among peoples, nor does she cease asking mankind to accept the salvation that is offered to everyone. The recognition of elements of truth and goodness in other religions of the world, ... collaboration with them in the defence and promotion of the dignity of the human person and of universal moral values, cannot be understood as a limitation to the Church's missionary task, which involves her in the constant announcement of Christ as the way, the truth and the life".

  Benedict XVI invited the members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to give particular attention to "the difficult and complex problems of bioethics". In this context, he indicated that the "Church's Magisterium certainly cannot and should not intervene on every scientific innovation. Rather, it has the task of reiterating the great values at stake, and providing the faithful, and all men and women of good will, with ethical-moral principals and guidelines for these new and important questions.

  "The two fundamental criteria for moral discernment in this field", he added, "are: unconditional respect for the human being as a person, from conception to natural death; and respect for the origin of the transmission of human life through the acts of the spouses".

  The Pope highlighted "new problems" associated with such questions as "the freezing of human embryos, embryonal reduction, pre-implantation diagnosis, stem cell research and attempts at human cloning". All these, he said, "clearly show how, with artificial insemination outside the body, the barrier protecting human dignity has been broken. When human beings in the weakest and most defenceless stage of their existence are selected, abandoned, killed or used as pure 'biological matter', how can it be denied that they are no longer being treated as 'someone' but as 'something', thus placing the very concept of human dignity in doubt".

  The Holy Father highlighted how "the Church appreciates and encourages progress in the biomedical sciences, which opens up previously unimagined therapeutic possibilities". At the same time, he pointed out that "she feels the need to enlighten everyone's consciences so that scientific progress may be truly respectful of all human beings, who must be recognised as having individual dignity because they have been created in the image of God". In this context, he concluded by ensuring participants in the plenary assembly that study of such themes "will certainly contribute to promoting the formation of consciences of many of our brothers and sisters".

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop John Tong Hon, auxiliary of Hong Kong, China, as coadjutor of the same diocese (area 1,102, population 6,882,600, Catholics 344,166, priests 283, permanent deacons 8, religious 811).

 - Reorganised the Greek-Catholic Slovak Church, making in a "sui iuris" Metropolitan Church and adopting the following provisions:

    - Elevating the eparchy of Presov for Catholics of Byzantine rite (Catholics 137,203, priests 259, permanent deacons 1, religious 111) to the status of metropolitan see and promoting Bishop Jan Babjak S.J. of Presov to the office of metropolitan archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Hazin nad Chirochou, Slovakia in 1953, he was ordained a priest in 1978 and consecrated a bishop in 2003.

    - Elevating the apostolic exarchate of Kosice for Catholics of Byzantine rite (Catholics 81,132, priests 161, permanent deacons 3, religious 65) to the status of eparchy, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Presov, and appointing the current exarch, Bishop Milan Chautur C.SS.R., to the office of eparchal bishop.

    - Erecting the eparchy of Bratislava for Catholics of Byzantine rite, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Presov, and appointing Fr. Peter Rusnak, pastor of the Greek-Catholic parish of the Exaltation of the Cross in Bratislava and proto-preist of the proto-presbyterate of the same name, as first bishop of the new eparchy. The bishop-elect was born in Humenne, Slovakia in 1950, and ordained a priest in 1987.
NEC:ECE:NER/.../...                            VIS 20080130 (250)


VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2008 (VIS) - In today's general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope again dedicated his catechesis (for the third time) to the figure of St. Augustine.

  The Holy Father recalled how in 1986, for the sixteenth centenary of the conversion of this Doctor of the Church, John Paul II wrote the Apostolic Letter "Augustinum Hipponensem" as a form of "thanksgiving to God for the gift that He has made to the Church, and through her to the whole human race, with this wonderful conversion".

  After announcing that Augustine's conversion - "a fundamental theme not only for the saint's life but also for our own" - will be the subject of his next and final catechesis on the saint, the Pope indicated that he would dedicate his remarks today to the question of faith and reason, "a vital aspect of St. Augustine's biography".

  St. Augustine's "intellectual and spiritual journey still represents a valid model for the relationship between faith and reason today, a theme that concerns not only believers but everyone who seeks the truth, and that is central to the equilibrium and the destiny of all human beings. These two dimensions - faith and reason - must not be separated or brought into conflict with one another, rather they must be harmonised".

  In this context, Benedict XVI recalled two Augustinian maxims "which express this coherent blend of faith and reason: 'crede ut intelligas' (believe in order to understand), believing opens the way to entering the gates of truth" and, "inseparable from this, 'intellige ut credas' (scrutinise truth in order to encounter God and believe)".

  "This harmony between faith and reason means, above all, that God is not far away from our reason and our lives. He is close to each human being, close to our heart and close to our reason".

  The Pope went on to indicate that "God's presence in man is profound and, at the same time, mysterious, but it can be recognised and discovered in our inmost selves. ... As the saint himself highlights in his famous phrase at the beginning of his 'Confessions', the spiritual autobiography he wrote in praise of God: 'You have formed us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in you'".

  "Human beings, the saint writes, are 'a great enigma' and 'a great abyss', an enigma and abyss that only Christ can illuminate and save. This is important. Those who are far from God are far from themselves, they are alienated from themselves and can only encounter themselves if they encounter God and thus ... attain their true identity".

  In his "City of God" St. Augustine highlights how "human beings are social by nature and antisocial by corruption, and can only be saved by Christ, the sole mediator between God and humanity, and the universal way to freedom and salvation", said the Holy Father. "As the sole mediator of salvation, Christ is the Head of the Church and mystically united to her".

  Turning his attention back to the Apostolic Letter "Augustinum Hipponensem", Benedict XVI indicated that "John Paul II had wished to ask the saint what he had to say to modern man, and he responds with the words Augustine used in a letter written shortly after his conversion: 'It seems to me that men should be brought back to the hope of discovering the truth', the truth that is Christ Himself".

  "Augustine", the Pope concluded, "encountered God and throughout his life experienced His presence in such a way that this reality - which is above all an encounter with a Person, Jesus - changed his life, as it changes the lives of those people, men and women, who in all ages have had the grace of meeting Him. Let us pray to the Lord that He may give us this grace and thus bring us to discover His peace".
AG/ST. AUGUSTINE/...                        VIS 20080130 (660)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 29 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that at 6.30 p.m. on Saturday, 2 February, Cardinal Estanislao Esteban Karlic, archbishop emeritus of Parana, Argentina, will take possession of the title of Our Lady of Sorrows in Piazza Buenos Aires, Viale Regina Margherita 81, Rome.
OCL/POSSESSION TITLE/KARLIC                VIS 20080129 (70)


VATICAN CITY, 29 JAN 2008 (VIS) - Made public today was the 2008 Lenten Message of the Holy Father Benedict XVI. The text, dated 30 October 2007, has as its title a verse from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians: "Christ made Himself poor for you".

  Extracts from the Message are given below:

  "Each year, Lent offers us a providential opportunity to deepen the meaning and value of our Christian lives, and it stimulates us to rediscover the mercy of God so that we, in turn, become more merciful toward our brothers and sisters. In the Lenten period, the Church makes it her duty to propose some specific tasks that accompany the faithful concretely in this process of interior renewal: these are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. For this year's Lenten Message, I wish to spend some time reflecting on the practice of almsgiving, which represents a specific way to assist those in need and, at the same time, an exercise in self-denial to free us from attachment to worldly goods. The force of attraction to material riches and just how categorical our decision must be not to make of them an idol, Jesus confirms in a resolute way: 'You cannot serve God and mammon'.

  "Almsgiving helps us to overcome this constant temptation, teaching us to respond to our neighbour's needs and to share with others whatever we possess through divine goodness. This is the aim of the special collections in favour of the poor, which are promoted during Lent in many parts of the world. In this way, inward cleansing is accompanied by a gesture of ecclesial communion, mirroring what already took place in the early Church.

  "According to the teaching of the Gospel, we are not owners but rather administrators of the goods we possess: these, then, are not to be considered as our exclusive possession, but means through which the Lord calls each one of us to act as a steward of His providence for our neighbour".

  "In the Gospel, Jesus explicitly admonishes the one who possesses and uses earthly riches only for self. ... In those countries whose population is majority Christian, the call to share is even more urgent, since their responsibility toward the many who suffer poverty and abandonment is even greater. To come to their aid is a duty of justice even prior to being an act of charity.

  "The Gospel highlights a typical feature of Christian almsgiving: it must be hidden. ... This understanding, dear brothers and sisters, must accompany every gesture of help to our neighbour, avoiding that it becomes a means to make ourselves the centre of attention".

  "In today's world of images, attentive vigilance is required, since this temptation is great. Almsgiving, according to the Gospel, is not mere philanthropy: rather it is a concrete expression of charity, a theological virtue that demands interior conversion to love of God and neighbour, in imitation of Jesus Christ".

  "In inviting us to consider almsgiving with a more profound gaze that transcends the purely material dimension, Scripture teaches us that there is more joy in giving than in receiving. ... Every time when, for love of God, we share our goods with our neighbour in need, we discover that the fullness of life comes from love and all is returned to us as a blessing in the form of peace, inner satisfaction and joy".

  "What is more: St. Peter includes among the spiritual fruits of almsgiving the forgiveness of sins. ... As the Lenten liturgy frequently repeats, God offers to us sinners the possibility of being forgiven. The fact of sharing what we possess with the poor disposes us to receive such a gift".

  "Almsgiving teaches us the generosity of love. ... In this regard, all the more significant is the Gospel story of the widow who, out of poverty, cast into the Temple treasury 'all she had to live on'".

  We find this moving passage inserted in the description of the days that immediately precede Jesus' passion and death, who, as St. Paul writes, made Himself poor to enrich us out of His poverty; He gave His entire Self for us. Lent, also through the practice of almsgiving, inspires us to follow His example. In His school, we can learn to make of our lives a total gift; imitating Him, we are able to make ourselves available, not so much in giving part of what we possess, but our very selves. Cannot the entire Gospel be summarised perhaps in the one commandment of love? The Lenten practice of almsgiving thus become a means to deepen our Christian vocation. In gratuitously offering himself, the Christian bears witness that it is love and not material richness that determines the laws of his existence, Love, then, gives almsgiving its true value; it inspires various forms of giving, according to the possibilities and conditions of each person".
MESS/LENT 2008/...                            VIS 20080129 (820)


VATICAN CITY, 29 JAN 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, the presentation took place of the 2008 Lenten Message of the Holy Father Benedict XVI. The theme of this year's Message is: "Christ made Himself poor for you".

  Participating in the press conference were Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes and Msgrs. Karel Kasteel and Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, respectively president, secretary and under-secretary of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", and Hans-Peter Rothlin, president of the Catholic association Aid to the Church in Need.

  Cardinal Cordes affirmed that in his Message this year the Pope "presents certain reflections on alms and fundraising". He also noted that, alongside Christmas, "the period leading up to Easter is also traditionally dedicated in many countries to special fundraising campaigns".

  He went on: "Despite the fact that the struggle against hunger has seen some successes from a financial point of view", it must be highlighted that "the structural costs of assistance organisations are sometime surprisingly high" and "at times can reach slightly less than 50 percent of their revenue".

  In the 2008 Message, he said, the Holy Father "wishes to highlight, on the basis of the faith, the implications giving has for the spirit of the donor". Using the words and stories of the Gospel, the Pope "places the gift of the donor in the light of revelation".

  "In the first place", said Cardinal Cordes, "the Pope shows - above all to practising Christians - the indissoluble bond between piety and caring for the needy". The Holy Father also "speaks of the intentions of the donor. At a time in which such great honour is paid to benefactors it is certainly appropriate to call attention to the spirit of a benefactor's gesture, which is not to look to the glorification of self but to the glorification of the Father Who is in heaven. The love of God is at the root of all good actions accomplished by man".

  The president of "Cor Unum" noted how the Holy Father comments on the evangelical episode of the widow who gave everything she had to live on. In this context he affirmed that "the value of our gifts is measured not on the basis of the amount stamped on the coins. Before God it is only the hand of the donor that determines the importance of a gift. Its value depends on the ... thoughts and intentions that have caused the person to give".

  Subsequently, Hans-Peter Rothlin spoke about Fr. Werenfried van Straaten, founder of the association Aid to the Church in Need, recalling that it is "not an order or an ecclesial community, but a 'Work' that has the aim of helping the Church wherever she is not capable of carrying out her mission without external assistance".

  In the "Spiritual Guidelines" written by Fr. van Straaten in 2002 shortly before his death, the founder "does not use the word 'alms' but speaks of offerings" and indicates that "the majority of his 'benefactors' were and remain simple people who do not possess great wealth, but are, rather, like the widow of the Gospel who makes her offering in secret ... then goes on her way".

  The text of the "Spiritual Guidelines" also make it clear, said Mr Rothlin, that those who distribute the offerings "must never forget that 'they are not just administrating money, but above all the charity of our benefactors'. Here we find come to the central point of the Holy Father's Message, which could be entitled: 'The secret of almsgiving is charity'", he said.

  The association founded by Fr. van Straaten collects funds in 17 nations and has some 600,000 benefactors, and it is, Mr Rothlin concluded, "a meeting place for the world Church where the children of God, from all places, come together in supernatural love and enrich one another. For donors it is a grace to know they are united with those whom Jesus called 'blessed' because of their poverty and suffering, ... while recipients experience the joy of being united to those who, for their mercy, are also called 'blessed'".
OP/MESSAGE LENT 2008/CORDES                VIS 20080129 (690)


VATICAN CITY, 29 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram to His Eminence Seraphim, metropolitan of Karystia and Skyros, for the death of His Beatitude Christodoulos, archbishop of Athens and all Greece, who passed away on 28 January at the age of 69.

  The Pope gives assurances of his spiritual closeness to all those mourning the death "of this distinguished pastor of the Church of Greece", then goes on: "The fraternal welcome which His Beatitude gave my predecessor Pope John Paul II on the occasion of his visit to Athens in May 2001, and the return visit of Archbishop Christodoulos to Rome in December 2006, opened a new era of cordial co-operation between us, leading to increased contacts and improved friendship in the search for closer communion in the context of the growing unity of Europe.

  "I and Catholics around the world pray that the Orthodox Church of Greece will be sustained by the grace of God in continuing to build on the pastoral achievements of the late archbishop, and that in commending the noble soul of His Beatitude to our heavenly Father's loving mercy you will be comforted by the Lord's promise to reward His faithful servants".

Monday, January 28, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 28 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Eight prelates of the Greek-Catholic Church of Ukraine, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, major archbishop of Kyiv-Halyc of the Ukrainians, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Bohdan Dzyurakh C.SS.R., Dionisio Lachovicz O.S.B.M., and Wasyl Ihor Medwit O.S.B.M., and by Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, apostolic visitor for Greek-Catholic Ukrainian faithful in Italy.

    - Archbishop Ihor Vozniak C.SS.R. of Lviv of the Ukrainians.

    - Bishop Milan Sasik S.M., apostolic administrator "ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of Mukacheve of the Byzantine rite.

    - Fr. Demetrius Hryhorak, apostolic administrator "ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of Buchach of the Ukraninas.

 - Archbishop Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany.

  On Saturday, 26 January, he received in separate audiences:

 - Archbishop Henryk Jozef Nowacki, apostolic nuncio to Nicaragua.

 - Carlos Luis Custer, ambassador of Argentina to the Holy See, on his farewell visit.

 - Fr. Adolfo Nicolas S.J., superior general of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

 - Bishop Antoni Stankiewicz, dean of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
AP/.../...                                VIS 20080128 (190)


VATICAN CITY, 28 JAN 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received participants in an inter-academic conference entitled "The changeable identity of the individual", promoted by the "Academie des Sciences de Paris" and by the Pontifical Academy of Science.

  In his address to them, Benedict XVI first expressed his joy and their inter-academic collaboration which, he said, "opens the way to vast and ever more profound multidisciplinary research".

  In our time, said the Pope, "the exact sciences, both natural and human, have made prodigious advances in their understanding of man and his universe". However at the same time "there is a strong temptation to circumscribe human identity and enclose it with the limits of what is known. ... In order to avoid going down this path it is important not to ignore anthropological, philosophical and theological research, which highlight and maintain the mystery of human beings, because no science can say who they are, where they come from and where they go. The knowledge of human beings is then, the most important of all forms of knowledge".

  "Human beings always stand beyond what can be scientifically seen or perceived", the Pope affirmed. "To overlook the question of man's 'being' inevitably leads to refusing the possibility of research into the objective truth of being ... and, effectively, to an incapacity to recognise the foundation upon which human dignity rests, from the embryo until natural death".

  "Starting from the question of the new being, who is produced by a fusion of cells and who bears a new and specific genetic heritage", the Holy Father told his audience, "you have highlighted certain essential elements in the mystery of man". Man, said the Pope is "characterised by his otherness. He is a being created by God, a being in the image of God, a being who is loved and is made to love. As a human he is never closed within himself. He is always a bearer of otherness and, from his origins, is in interaction with other human beings".

  "Man", said the Pontiff, "is not the result of mere chance, of converging circumstances, of determinism, of chemical inter-reactions. Man is a being who enjoys a freedom which ... transcends his nature and is a sign of the mystery of otherness that dwells within him. ... This freedom, which is characteristic of human beings, means they can guide their lives to a goal" and "highlights how man's existence has a meaning. In the exercise of his authentic freedom, the individual realises his vocation, he is fulfilled and gives form to his deepest identity".

  "Human beings have the specific ability of discerning what is good", the Pope concluded. "In our own time, when the progress of the sciences attracts and seduces for the possibilities it offers, it is more necessary than ever to educate the consciences of our contemporaries to ensure that science does not become the criterion of good, that man is still respected as the centre of creation, and that he does not become the object of ideological manipulation, arbitrary decisions, or abuses".
AC/.../ACADEMIE DES SCIENCES                VIS 20080128 (530)


VATICAN CITY, 27 JAN 2008 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus today, the Pope addressed a special greeting to children from Catholic Action who had come to St. Peter's Square in the company of their parents and educators on a traditional annual visit marking the closure of their "month of peace".

  "Dear young friends", said the Holy Father, "I know you work in favour of your peers who are suffering the effects of war and hunger. Continue along this path, which Jesus showed us, to build true peace!"

  Assisted by two of the children, the Holy Father theb released two doves from the window of his study. The birds did not fly back into the apartment as they had on previous occasions causing the Pope to remark with a smile: "This time it went well, sometimes they come back".

  Benedict XVI then recalled that today is also the World Day of Leprosy Sufferers, instituted 55 years ago by Raoul Follereau. "I send my affectionate greetings to everyone suffering from this disuse", he said, "giving assurances of my special prayers which I extend to those who, in one way or in another, work at their side, and in particular to volunteers of the Association of Friends of Raoul Follereau".
ANG/PEACE:LEPROSY/...                        VIS 20080128 (220)


VATICAN CITY, 27 JAN 2008 (VIS) - At midday today, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study overlooking St. Peter's Square, to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered below.

  Before the Marian prayer, the Pope commented today's Gospel reading, explaining how "it presents the beginning of Christ's public mission", a mission that "essentially consisted in preaching the Kingdom of God and in healing the sick", and that served "to show that the Kingdom is near and, in fact, is already among us".

  The Holy Father then went on to point out that Jesus began to preach in Galilee, an outlying area of the Jewish nation where the prophet Isaiah had announced that "the people immersed in darkness would see a great light".

  "In Jesus' day the term 'gospel' was used by Roman emperors for their proclamations, Whatever the contents, these were defined as 'good news', in other words as announcements of salvation, because the emperor was considered to be lord of the world and all his edicts as harbingers of good. Thus, applying this word to Jesus' preaching had a strong critical significance as if to say: God, not the emperor, is the Lord of the world and the true Gospel is that of Christ.

  "The 'good news' that Jesus proclaimed may be summed up in these words: 'The Kingdom of God - or Kingdom of Heaven - is near'. ... This does not of course refer to an earthly kingdom demarcated in time and space but announces that it is God Who reigns, that it is God Who is Lord, and that His lordship is present, current, it is taking place.

  "The novelty of Christ's message", the Pope added, "is that it is in Him that God has drawn near, that He reigns among us, as the miracles and healing He accomplished show".

  "Wherever Jesus comes, the creative Spirit brings life and mankind is healed from sickness of body and spirit. God's lordship, then, is shown in the integral healing of man. With this, Jesus wished to reveal the face of the true God, the near God, full of mercy for every human being".
ANG/KINGDOM OF GOD/...                    VIS 20080128 (370)


VATICAN CITY, 26 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Archbishop Emil Paul Tscherrig, apostolic nuncio to Korea and Mongolia, as apostolic nuncio to Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway.

 - Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

 - Cardinals Roger Michael Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, U.S.A., and Edward Michael Egan, archbishop of New York, U.S.A., as members of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

 - Msgr. Francesco Di Felice of the clergy of the diocese of Teramo-Atri, Italy, as a consultor of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

 - Bishop Pavel Posad of Litomerice, Czech Republic, as auxiliary of Ceske Budejovice (area 12,500, population 748,000, Catholics 295,500, priests 157, permanent deacons 17, religious 175), Czech Republic.
NN:NA:NEA/.../...                            VIS 20080128 (140)


VATICAN CITY, 26 JAN 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received the dean, judges, promoters of justice, defenders of the bond, officials and lawyers of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, for the occasion of the inauguration of the judicial year.

  At the beginning of his address, the Holy Father told his audience that this year's commemoration of the first centenary of the re-establishment of the apostolic tribunal of the Roman Rota, as endorsed by Pope St. Pius X in 1908 with the Apostolic Constitution "Sapienti consilio", provided an appropriate occasion to reflect upon "the jurisprudence of the Rota within the context of the administration of justice within the Church".

  "Any juridical system must seek to offer solutions", said the Pope. And in seeking such solutions, "apart from prudently assessing each individual case in its own uniqueness, the same general principles and norms of justice must be applied. Only in this way is it possible to create a climate of trust around the tribunal's activities and to avoid the arbitrariness of subjective criteria".

  "These considerations may be perfectly applied to ecclesiastical tribunals. ... The need for unity in the essential criteria of justice and the importance of being able to reasonably foresee the significance of judicial decisions, is a particularly important ecclesial good for the interior life the People of God and for their institutional testimony to the world".

  "Sentences must always be founded on shared principles and norms of justice." said the Holy Father adding that such a requirement, "which is common to all legal systems, has particular consequence for the Church" because what is at issue is communion. "This implies the protection of everything that is shared by the Universal Church", and is "especially entrusted to the Supreme Authority and to the bodies that 'ad normam iuris' participate in its sacred power".

  Benedict XVI highlighted the Roman Rota's notable achievements in the area of marriage over the last 100 years, indicating how the tribunal is still "called to undertake an arduous task which has great influence on the work of all other tribunals: that of determining the existence or otherwise of the married state, which is intrinsically anthropological, theological and juridical".

  "Law cannot be reduced to a mere collection of positive rules which tribunals are called to apply", said the Pope. "The only solid foundation for legal work consists in conceiving of it as a real exercise in 'prudentia iuris', a prudence that is nowise arbitrary or relativist. ... Only in this way do legal maxims acquire their true value and avoid becoming a compilation of abstract and repetitive laws, exposed to the risk of subjective and arbitrary interpretations.

  "Hence", he added, "the objective assessment of the facts in the light of the Magisterium of the Church constitutes an important aspect of the activity of the Roman Rota, and has great influence on the work of ministers of justice in the tribunals of local Churches".

  The Holy Father went on to highlight how, "through such work in the causes of nullity of marriage, concrete reality may be objectively judged in the light of criteria that constantly reaffirm the truth of indissoluble marriage, which is open to all men and women in accordance with the designs of God".

  Due to the universal nature of the Church and the diversity of juridical cultures in which she operates, said the Pope, "there is always a risk of the formation of 'sensim sine sensu' (local forms of jurisprudence), ever more distant from the common interpretation of positive laws and even from Church doctrine on matrimony". In this context, the Holy Father expressed the hope that attention be given to "the right ways to ensure that the jurisprudence of the Rota is ever more characterised by its unity, and is effectively accessible to all who work in justice, so as to find uniform application in all the tribunals of the Church".

  The contributions of the ecclesiastical Magisterium concerning the juridical aspects of marriage, including talks by the Pontiff to the Rota, "must be considered from this realistic viewpoint", said Benedict XVI "They constitute an immediate guide for the work of all the tribunals of the Church, in as much as they teach with authority what is essential with respect to the married state".

  In closing his address to them, the Pope encouraged members of the Roman Rota to use this hundredth anniversary as an occasion to increase their efforts "with an ever deeper ecclesial sense of justice, which is a true service to salvific communion".
AC/.../ROMAN ROTA                        VIS 20080128 (770)


VATICAN CITY, 26 JAN 2008 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon in the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, the Pope presided at the celebration of the second Vespers of the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. The ceremony, which marked the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, was attended by representatives from other Churches and ecclesial communities.

  In his homily the Holy Father referred to the conversion of St. Paul, pointing out that the saint's "knowledge that only divine grace could have achieved such a conversion never abandoned him".

  "At the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity we are more aware than ever of how much the work of recreating unity, which requires all our energy and commitment, is in any case infinitely beyond our capacities. ... It is not in our power to decide when and how this unity will be fully achieved. Only God can do so".

  Benedict XVI recalled the theme of this year's Week of Prayer - "pray without ceasing" - indicating that this "invitation addressed by St. Paul to the Thessalonians retains all its validity. Faced with the weakness and sin that prevent the full communion of Christians" the exhortations of the Apostle "have retained all their pertinence, and this is especially true for the command to "pray without ceasing'", he said.

  "What would become of the ecumenical movement without individual and joint prayer 'that they may all be one, as you Father are in me and I am in you'? Where can we find that 'extra drive' of faith, charity and hope of which our search for unity has such need today? Our desire for unity should not be confined to sporadic occasions but should become an integral part of our whole life of prayer. ... There is, then, no form of genuine ecumenism that does not have its roots in prayer".

  The Pope dwelt on the figure of Fr. Paul Wattson, who a century ago launched the idea of an Octave of prayer for Christian unity and, giving thanks to God for "the great movement of prayer which, for a hundred years, has accompanied and supported believers in Christ in their search for unity", he said: "The ship of ecumenism would never have left port if it had not been moved by this broad current of prayer and driven along by the breath of the Holy Spirit".

  Benedict XVI also spoke of the religious and monastic communities which have over these days "invited and assisted their members 'to pray continually' for the unity of Christians", and he mentioned Sr. Maria Gabriella dell'Unita as one of the outstanding figures who prayed for this goal during the last century. At her beatification ceremony in 1983, John Paul II "highlighted the three elements on which the search for unity is built: conversion, prayer and the cross", said Pope Benedict.

  "Ecumenism has great need, today as yesterday, of the great 'invisible monastery', ... of that immense community of Christians of all traditions who, without noise or fuss, pray and offer their lives that unity may be achieved".

  After greeting representatives from the World Council of Churches and from the various Churches and ecclesial communities present at St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, the Pope reminded them that the Year dedicated to St. Paul will be inaugurated in the basilica, on 28 June. "May his tireless fervour to build the Body of Christ in unity help us to pray ceaselessly for the full unity of all Christians".
HML/VESPERS:ECUMENISM/ST. PAUL'S            VIS 20080128 (600)

Friday, January 25, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Bishop Hilario Da Cruz Massinga O.F.M. of Lichinga, Mozambique, as bishop of Quelimane (area 62,557, population 847,620, Catholics 741,540, priests 58, religious 191), Mozambique.

 - Fr. Jose Elias Rauda Gutierrez O.F.M. head of the office for juridical affairs of the provincial curia of the Friars Minor Franciscans, based in Guatemala, as auxiliary of Santa Ana (area 3,272, population 1,420,810, Catholics 919,409, priests 82, permanent deacons 1, religious 110), El Salvador. The bishop-elect was born in Agua Caliente, El Salvador in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1989.

 - Fr. Joseph Hii Teck Kwong, pastor of the parish of the Immaculate Conception in Kapit, as auxiliary of Sibu (area 41,484, population 745,000, Catholics 90,000, priests 17, religious 31), Malaysia. The bishop-elect was born in Sibu in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1993.

 - Fr. Tarcicio Pusma Ibanez of the clergy of the diocese of Chulucanas, diocesan bursar, as auxiliary of Trujillo (area 25,500, population 297,000, Catholics 210,000, priests 21, religious 41), Peru. The bishop-elect was born in Nangali, Peru in 1967 and ordained a priest in 1997.
NER:NEA/.../...                            VIS 20080125 (200)


VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Two prelates from the Slovenian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Anton Stres C.M. of Celje

    - Bishop Marjan Turnsek of Murska Sobota.

 - Cardinal Raffaele Farina S.D.B., archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church, accompanied by an entourage for the presentation of a number of works from the Vatican Apostolic Library.
AL:AP/.../...                                VIS 20080125 (80)


VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2008 (VIS) - Made public today was a communique concerning the sixth meeting of the Eleventh Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. The meeting, held on 21 and 22 January, was part of preparations for the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod, due to take place from 5 to 26 October on the theme: "The Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church".

  The participants in the sixth meeting, who were received by the Pope on 21 January, examined the first draft of the "Instrumentum laboris", which is the working document for the forthcoming synodal assembly and was drawn up on the basis of the numerous replies to the "Questionario". The "Questionario" was part of the original consultative document - the "Lineamenta" or draft guidelines - and the replies were sent in by the Synods of Bishops of the "sui iuris" Eastern Catholic Churches, episcopal conferences, dicasteries of the Roman Curia and the Union of Superiors General.
SE/.../SYNOD BISHOPS                        VIS 20080125 (180)


VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2008 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received members of the joint working group of the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches.

  Addressing them in English, the Holy Father pointed out how "the World Council of Churches and the Catholic Church have enjoyed a fruitful ecumenical relationship dating back to the time of Vatican Council II The Joint Working Group, which began in 1965, has worked assiduously to strengthen the 'dialogue of life' which my predecessor, Pope John Paul II, called the 'dialogue of charity'. This co-operation has given vivid expression to the communion already existing between Christians and has advanced the cause of ecumenical dialogue and understanding.

  "The centenary of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity", he added, "offers us an opportunity to thank Almighty God for the fruits of the ecumenical movement, in which we can discern the presence of the Holy Spirit fostering the growth of all Christ's followers in unity of faith, hope and love. To pray for unity is itself 'an effective means of obtaining the grace of unity', since it is a participation in the prayer of Jesus Himself. When Christians pray together, 'the goal of unity seems closer'".

  "On this day, then, we think back with gratitude to the work of so many individuals who, over the years, have sought to spread the practice of spiritual ecumenism through common prayer, conversion of heart and growth in communion. We also give thanks for the ecumenical dialogues which have borne abundant fruit in the past century".

  The Holy Father concluded his address by saying that "the reception of those fruits is itself an important step in the process of promoting Christian unity, and the Joint Working Group is particularly suited to studying and encouraging that process".
AC/ECUMENISM/JOINT WORKING GROUP            VIS 20080125 (310)


VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2008 (VIS) - At midday today, Benedict XVI received participants in a congress organised by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts to mark the 25th anniversary of the Code of Canon Law.

  In his talk to them the Pope pointed out that "the 'ius ecclesiae' is not just a collection of norms produced by the ecclesial Legislator for that particular group of people who form the Church of Christ. It is, primarily, the authoritative declaration by the ecclesial Legislator of the duties and rights which are founded on the Sacraments and which, consequently, derive from what Christ Himself instituted".

  The Pope quoted a phrase used by Blessed Antonio Rosmini to the effect that "the human person is the essence of law". This, he went on, is something "we must also emphasise for Canon Law: the essence of Canon Law is the Christian individual in the Church".

  "The Church recognises that her laws have the nature and ... the pastoral function of enabling her to pursue her final aim which is that of achieving 'salus animarum'. ... In order for Canon Law to perform this vital service it must, first and foremost, be well structured. This means, on the one hand, that it must be linked to the theological foundations that give it its reasonableness and that are an essential sign of ecclesial legitimacy and, on the other, that it must it must adhere to the changeable circumstances of the history of the People of God.

  "Moreover", he added, Canon Law "must be clearly and unambiguously formulated in such a way as to remain in harmony with the other laws of the Church. Hence it is necessary to abrogate norms that have become outdated, modify those in need of correction, interpret (in the light of the living Magisterium of the Church) those that are unclear and, finally, fill any 'lacunae legis'".

  The Pope reminded the members of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts of their duty to ensure "that the activities of those structures within the Church called to dictate norms for the faithful may always reflect ... the union and communion that are characteristic of the Church".

  "The Law of the Church is, first of all, 'lex libertatis': the law that makes us free to follow Jesus", the Holy Father concluded. "Hence it is important we know how to show the People of God, the new generations and all those called to follow Canon Law, the real bond [that law] has with the life of the Church". This must be done in order "to defend the delicate interests of the things of God and to protect the rights of the weakest, ... but also in order to defend that delicate 'good' which each of the faithful has gratuitously received (the gift of faith, of the grace of God), which in the Church cannot remain without adequate legal protection".
AC/CANON LAW/...                            VIS 20080125 (500)

Thursday, January 24, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 24 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Thomas Chung An-zu, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Taipei, Taiwan, as bishop of Kiayi (area 3,244, population 1,582,934, Catholics 17,820, priests 41, religious 81), Taiwan.

 - Appointed Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, apostolic nuncio to Kazakhstan, Tadjikistan, Krygyzstan and Uzbekistan, as apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic.

 - Appointed Msgr. James Vann Johnston of the clergy of Knoxville, U.S.A., chancellor and moderator of the diocesan curia, as bishop of Springfield - Cape Girardeau (area 66,586, population 1,248,000, Catholics 64,900, priests 128, permanent deacons 13, religious 222), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Knoxville in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1990. He succeeds Bishop John J. Leibrecht, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
NER:NN:RE/.../...                            VIS 20080124 (150)


VATICAN CITY, 24 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences seven prelates from the Slovenian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Alojzij Uran of Ljubljana.

    - Bishop Metod Pirih of Koper, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Jurij Bizjak.

    - Bishop Andrej Glavan of Novo Mesto.

    - Archbishop Franc Kramberger of Maribor, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Jozef Smej and Peter Stumpf S.D.B.

  Yesterday evening, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, Poland.
AL:AP/.../...                                VIS 20080124 (90)


VATICAN CITY, 24 JAN 2008 (VIS) - Made public today, Feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists, was Benedict XVI's Message for the World Day of Social Communications, which this year is due to be celebrated on 4 May, and has as its theme: "The Media: At the Crossroads between Self-Promotion and Service. Searching for the Truth in order to Share it with Others".

  The Holy Father's Message has been published in Italian, English, Spanish, German, French and Portuguese. Extracts from the English language version are given below:

  "The theme of this year's World Communications Day ... sheds light on the important role of the media in the life of individuals and society. Truly, there is no area of human experience, especially given the vast phenomenon of globalisation, in which the media have not become an integral part of interpersonal relations and of social, economic, political and religious development".

  "In view of their meteoric technological evolution, the media have acquired extraordinary potential, while raising new and hitherto unimaginable questions and problems. There is no denying the contribution they can make to the diffusion of news, to knowledge of facts and to the dissemination of information: they have played a decisive part, ... in the spread of literacy and in socialisation, as well as the development of democracy and dialogue among peoples".

  "Indeed, the media, taken overall, are not only vehicles for spreading ideas: they can and should also be instruments at the service of a world of greater justice and solidarity. Unfortunately, though, they risk being transformed into systems aimed at subjecting humanity to agendas dictated by the dominant interests of the day. This is what happens when communication is used for ideological purposes or for the aggressive advertising of consumer products. While claiming to represent reality, it can tend to legitimise or impose distorted models of personal, family or social life. Moreover, in order to attract listeners and increase the size of audiences, it does not hesitate at times to have recourse to vulgarity and violence, and to overstep the mark. The media can also present and support models of development which serve to increase rather than reduce the technological divide between rich and poor countries.

  "Humanity today is at a crossroads. ... We must ask, therefore, whether it is wise to allow the instruments of social communication to be exploited for indiscriminate 'self-promotion' or to end up in the hands of those who use them to manipulate consciences. ... Their extraordinary impact on the lives of individuals and on society is widely acknowledged, yet today it is necessary to stress the radical shift, one might even say the complete change of role, that they are currently undergoing. Today, communication seems increasingly to claim not simply to represent reality, but to determine it, owing to the power and the force of suggestion that it possesses. It is clear, for example, that in certain situations the media are used not for the proper purpose of disseminating information, but to 'create' events".

  "The role that the means of social communication have acquired in society must now be considered an integral part of the 'anthropological' question that is emerging as the key challenge of the third millennium. Just as we see happening in areas such as human life, marriage and the family, and in the great contemporary issues of peace, justice and protection of creation, so too in the sector of social communications there are essential dimensions of the human person and the truth concerning the human person coming into play. ... For this reason it is essential that social communications should assiduously defend the person and fully respect human dignity. Many people now think there is a need, in this sphere, for 'info-ethics', just as we have bioethics in the field of medicine and in scientific research linked to life.

  "The media must avoid becoming spokesmen for economic materialism and ethical relativism, true scourges of our time. Instead, they can and must contribute to making known the truth about humanity, and defending it against those who tend to deny or destroy it. ... Utilising for this purpose the many refined and engaging techniques that the media have at their disposal is an exciting task, entrusted in the first place to managers and operators in the sector.

  "Yet it is a task which to some degree concerns us all, because we are all consumers and operators of social communications in this era of globalisation. The new media - telecommunications and internet in particular - are changing the very face of communication; perhaps this is a valuable opportunity to reshape it, to make more visible, as my venerable predecessor Pope John Paul II said, the essential and indispensable elements of the truth about the human person".
MESS/WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY/...            VIS 20080124 (800)


VATICAN CITY, 24 JAN 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli and Msgr. Paul Tighe, respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, presented the Pope's Message for the 42nd World Day of Social Communications.

  Noting how the communications media "can be instruments of our hope", Archbishop Celli stressed that "they can and must also be instruments at the service a more just and united world.

  "It is no coincidence", he added, "that the Pope mentions, though briefly, the 'decisive' role the media have had and continue to have". The Holy Father also recalls those sectors of human life in which the media "are a real resource, a blessing for everyone: literacy, socialisation, the development of democracy and dialogue among peoples", he added.

  The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications dwelt on "the Pope's clear awareness and knowledge of the fact that unfortunately the media 'risk being transformed into systems aimed at subjecting humanity to agendas dictated by the dominant interests of the day'. This is the challenge facing the media, the challenge we must all face in our daily lives in order to become men and women who show solidarity to all mankind".

  Benedict XVI notes the fact that "the media can be used to 'create' events", Archbishop Celli observed before going on to ask: "If the media, rather than recounting events, 'create' them what happens to mankind?" In this context, he noted, the Pope suggests that "many people now think there is a need, in this sphere, for 'info-ethics', just as we have bioethics in the field of medicine and in scientific research linked to life".

  These words of the Pope, the archbishop concluded, "make us even more aware of how much the social communications media are profoundly linked to mankind, and invite us to protect human beings jealously in all their environments and in everything that mankind is and is called to be".

  For his part, Msgr. Tighe, speaking English, noted how the "true measure of progress is not to be found in the technical or logistical efficiency of the new means of communications alone, but in the purposes which the serve". In using new technologies, he continued, the media can place them "at the service of individuals and communities in their search for the truth or they can allow them to be used to promote their own interests and/or the interests of those they represent in ways that manipulate communities and individuals".

  This Message, said Msgr. Tighe, encourages those who work in the media "to be vigilant in their efforts to make known the truth and to defend it 'against those who tend to deny or destroy it'. Media professionals are invited to defend the ethical underpinnings of their profession and to ensure that the 'centrality and the inviolable dignity of the human person' are always vindicated".

  Finally, Msgr. Tighe recalled the numerous journalists throughout the world who "have suffered persecution, imprisonment and even death because of this commitment and because of their unwillingness to be silent in the face of injustice and corruption".


VATICAN CITY, 24 JAN 2008 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received prelates from the Slovenian Episcopal Conference who have just completed their five-yearly "ad limina" visit.

  In his address to them, the Holy Father dwelt on the great changes the country has seen over the last five years, from its entry into the European Union (2004) to its adoption of the euro (2007) and its adherence to the Schengen Agreement. These changes "are not of an ecclesiastical nature but they nonetheless concern the Church because they touch people's lives, and in particular the question of values in Europe", he said.

  Recalling the pastoral letter written by Slovenian bishops in 2004, the Pope noted that it remains valid because, "if Europe wishes to remain - and ever more to become - a land of peace, maintaining the dignity of the human person as one of its fundamental values, it cannot relinquish the principle spiritual and ethical component of its foundation: Christianity.

  "Not all forms of humanism are the same", Pope Benedict added, "nor are they equivalent in moral terms. I am not referring here to religious aspects, but limit myself to ethical and social questions. The various visions of man that can be adopted have consequences for civil coexistence. If, for example, man is conceived - following a widespread modern tendency - in individualistic terms how can we justify efforts for the construction of a more just and united community?"

  In this context, the Holy Father quoted from the bishops' pastoral letter: "'Christianity is the religion of hope: hope in life, in endless happiness, in the attainment of fraternity among all mankind'. This is true for all continents, including Europe where many intellectuals still struggle to accept the fact that 'reason and faith need one another in order to fulfil their true nature and their mission'".

  The Pope then went on to consider the "main challenge" facing the Church in Slovenia: "Western-style secularism, which is different and perhaps more underhand than Marxist secularism". It results in "the unbridled pursuit of material goods, the drop in nativity and the reduction in religious practice with a notable diminution in vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life".

  "Each generation is called to renew the choice between life and goodness and death and evil. We as pastors have the duty to show Christians the path of life, that they in their turn may become the salt and light of society. I encourage the Church in Slovenia, then, to respond to materialist and selfish culture with a coherent evangelising activity that begins in parishes".

  Finally, referring to the National Eucharistic Congress which will be held in Slovenia in 2009, Benedict XVI stated that the Eucharist and the Word of God "constitute the true treasure of the Church. Faithful to the teaching of Christ, each community must use earthly goods simply, in the service of the Gospel".

  He concluded: "On this subject, the New Testament is rich in teachings and in normative examples so that at all times pastors may correctly approach the delicate problem of worldly good and their appropriate use. In all periods of the Church, witness to evangelical poverty has been an essential element of evangelisation, as it was in the life of Christ".
AL/.../SLOVENIA                            VIS 20080124 (560)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 23 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Tarcisio Scaramussa S.D.B., general counsellor of the Salesians in Rome, as auxiliary of Sao Paulo (area 1,645, population 7,060,750, Catholics 5,215,000, priests 941, permanent deacons 30, religious 2,825), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Prosperidade, Brazil in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1977.
NER/.../SCARAMUSSA                        VIS 20080123 (60)


VATICAN CITY, 23 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father yesterday received in audience Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".
AP/.../...                                VIS 20080123 (30)


VATICAN CITY, 23 JAN 2008 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter from the Pope to the diocese and the city of Rome on the vital importance of education.

  During last Sunday's Angelus, for the occasion of the Day of Catholic Schools which the diocese of Rome was celebrating that day, the Holy Father had encouraged administrators, teachers, parents and pupils of Catholic schools, despite the difficulties they face, to continue their work "which has the Gospel as its focus, following an educational syllabus that aims at the integral formation of the human person".

  In his Letter, which is dated 21 January, Benedict XVI notes that education today "seems to be becoming ever more difficult. ... Hence there is talk of an 'educational emergency', confirmed by the failures which too often crown our efforts to form well-rounded individuals, capable of collaborating with others and of giving meaning to their lives". There is also talk of a 'break between the generations', which certainly exists and is a burden, but is the effect rather than the cause of the failure to transmit certainties and values".

  The Holy Father notes that parents and teachers may feel the "temptation to give up" on education, and even run the risk "of not understanding what their role is", and he identifies "a mentality and a form of culture that lead people to doubt the value of the human person, the meaning of truth and of good and, in the final analysis, the goodness of life itself".

  Faced with such difficulties, "which are not insurmountable", the Pope says: "Do not be afraid! ... Event the greatest values of the past cannot simply be inherited, we must make them our own and renew them through often-difficult personal choices.

  "However", he adds, "when the foundations are shaken and essential certainties disappear, the need for those values returns to make itself imposingly felt. Thus we see today an increasing demand for real education". It is demanded by parents, by teachers, "by society as a whole, ... and by the young people themselves who do not want to be left to face the challenges of life alone".

  The Holy Father writes of the need "to identify certain common requirements for authentic education", noting that "it requires, above all, the nearness and trust that are born of love".

  "It would, then, be a poor education that limited itself to imparting notions and information while ignoring the great question of truth, above all of that truth which can be a guide to life".

  The Pope identifies "the most delicate aspect of education" as that of "finding the right balance between freedom and discipline". However, he affirms, "the educational relationship is above all an encounter between two freedoms, and successful education is formation in the correct use of freedom. ...We must, then, accept the risk of freedom, remaining ever attentive to helping it and to correcting mistaken ideas and choices".

  "Education cannot forgo that authoritative prestige which makes the exercise of authority credible" writes the Holy Father, adding that this is "acquired above all by the coherence of one's own life". He also highlights the decisive importance of a sense of responsibility. "Responsibility is first of all personal but there also exists a responsibility we share together", he says.

  In this context, Benedict XVI observes that "the overall trends of the society in which we live, and the image it gives of itself through the communications media, exercise a great influence on the formation of new generations, for good but also often for evil. Society", he adds, "is not an abstract concept, in the final analysis it is we ourselves".

  In closing, the Holy Father refers to hope, the subject of his last Encyclical, as the "soul of education", indicating that "our hope today is threatened from many sides and we too, like the ancient pagans, risk becoming men without 'hope and without God in the world'".

  "At the root of the crisis of education lies a crisis of trust in life," he concludes. "Hope directed towards God is never hope for me alone, it is always also hope for others. it does not isolate us but unites us in goodness, stimulating us to educate one another in truth and in love".
BXVI-LETTER/EDUCATION/...                    VIS 20080123 (720)


VATICAN CITY, 23 JAN 2008 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis during today's general audience to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which began on 18 January and will come to an end on Friday, 25 January, Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.

  Addressing the thousands of faithful gathered in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope explained that during the Week "Christians from various Churches and ecclesial communities will come together ... in a choral entreaty to ask the Lord Jesus to re-establish full unity among all His disciples, ... undertaking to work so that all humanity accepts and recognises Him as their only Pastor and Lord".

  The Holy Father gave his listeners a broad historical overview of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the theme of which this year is "pray without ceasing": More than 100 years ago Fr. Paul Wattson, an Anglican priest from the U.S.A. who later entered into the communion of the Catholic Church, launched "the prophetic idea of an Octave of prayer for the unity of Christians". In 1916 Pope Benedict XV extended the invitation to pray for unity to the entire Catholic Church and later, during Vatican Council II, "the need for unity was felt with even greater urgency".

  Vatican Council II promulgated the Decree on Ecumenism "Unitatis Redintegratio" which, the Pope said, "lays great emphasis on the role and the importance of prayer for unity. Prayer", he added, "is at the very heart of the ecumenical journey".

  "It is thanks to this spiritual ecumenism, founded on prayer and sincere conversion, ... that the joint search for unity has undergone considerable development over the last few decades, diversifying into many different initiatives: from mutual knowledge to fraternal contact between members of different Churches and ecclesial communities, from ever more friendly dialogue to collaboration in various fields, from theological dialogue to the search for tangible forms of communion".

  Vatican Council II "also highlighted prayer in common", said Pope Benedict, "because in joint prayer Christian communities come together before the Lord and, aware of the contradictions caused by their divisions, manifest their desire to obey His will". ... Joint prayer is not, then a form of volunteer work or sociology, but an expression of the faith that unites all Christ's disciples".

  "It is the awareness of our human limitations that encourages us to abandon ourselves faithfully in the hands of the Lord. ... The profound significance of the Week of Prayer lies precisely in the fact that it is firmly founded on the prayer of Christ ... 'that they may all be one, ... so that the world may believe'".

  "So that the world may believe!" the Pope concluded. "We particularly feel the realism of those words today. The world is suffering from the absence of God, ... it wishes to know the face of God. But how can men and women today know the face of God in the face of Christ if we Christians are divided? Only in unity can we truly show the face of God, the face of Christ, to a world which has such need to see it".
AG/WEEK PRAYER CHRISTIAN UNITY/...            VIS 20080123 (540)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 22 JAN 2008 (VIS) - According to a note published today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday, 27 January, Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State, will take possession of the diaconate of St. Mary "Liberatrice" a Monte Testaccio, Via Lorenzo Ghiberti 2, Rome.

  The communique also announces that at 6.30 p.m. on Sunday, 27 January, Cardinal Giovanni Coppa, apostolic nuncio, will take possession of the new diaconate of St. Linus, Via Cardinale Garampi 60, Rome.
OCL/POSSESSION DIACONATE/...                VIS 20080122 (110)


VATICAN CITY, 22 JAN 2008 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office at midday today, a press conference was held to present a forthcoming congress on the theme: "Canon Law in the Life of the Church, research and perspectives in the context of recent Pontifical Magisterium". The event has been organised to mark the 25th anniversary of the Code of Canon Law which was promulgated on 25 January 1983.

  Participating in the press conference were Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio and Msgr. Juan Ignacio Arrieta, respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

  "Twenty-five years ago, the long process of revising the 1917 Code of Canon Law came to an end", said Archbishop Coccopalmerio, explaining how the revision "had been announced by Pope John XXIII on the same day he proclaimed the celebration of Vatican Council II" and how it aimed "to re-examine the central corpus of the Church's legislative code in accordance with doctrinal aspects contained in the conciliar documents".

  The archbishop then went on to consider differences between the Code of Canon Law and the legal codes of nations. The former, he said, "contains the law of the Church, just as a State code contains the laws of a particular nation. And it is called 'Canon Law' because it is made up of 'canons', which are equivalent to the 'articles' of a State code".

  However the Code of Canon Law "is not just a collection of norms created by the will of ecclesiastical legislators", it "indicates the duties and rights inherent to the faithful and to the structure of the Church as instituted by Christ".

  And the legislator, having identified fundamental duties and rights "also establishes a series of norms that have the aim of defining, applying and defending [those] duties and rights".

  "For this reason", the archbishop went on, "the Code of Canon Law is like a large and complex painting depicting the faithful and the communities within the Church, and defining the identity and 'mission' of each. And the painter of this work of art is the ecclesiastical legislator" whose model comes "from the doctrine of the Church and from ... Vatican Council II, as Pope John Paul II taught us when he promulgated the current Code".

  Turning his attention to some of the "novelties" of the 1983 Code with respect to that of 1917, Archbishop Coccopalmerio mentioned Canon 208 whence, he said, "arise many tangible consequences that concern all the faithful and especially the lay faithful: all are called to play an active role in the Church". Other novelties include "the definition of matters concerning the Roman Pontiff, the College of Bishops, the Synod of Bishops and the episcopal conferences".

  The 1983 Code of Canon Law, said the archbishop, was, "like all human works, ... perfectible". Hence one of the aims of the current congress is "to identify certain points in need of a little restoration".

  In closing, the president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts enumerated the functions of his dicastery: "helping the supreme legislator (the Pope) to keep Church legislation as complete and up to date as possible, ... overseeing the correct application of current laws" and "helping the Pope in the delicate process of interpreting norms".

  For his part, Msgr. Arrieta affirmed that the aim of the congress is "to undertake a purposeful study ... into the progress of the application of the Code, and of all the other norms that the various offices of the Roman Curia and individual legislators have produced over the last 25 years".

  The congress will begin with an "overall assessment of the development of these norms" presented by Cardinal Julian Herranz, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, who is, said Msgr. Arrieta, "the historical memory on this subject, having followed the entire process personally since Vatican Council II".

  The secretary of the pontifical council highlighted how, due to the time limits of the congress, only some offices of the Roman Curia had been chosen to study the process of the Code's application over the last quarter of a century. Thus, for example, Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, will speak on the theme: "Acceptance and operation of Canon Law in the mission lands. Cultural encounters and technical limitations".

  Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops will deliver an address on: "Universal law and the production of norms at the level of particular Churches, episcopal conferences and particular councils", while for his part Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, will turn his attention to: "The formation of ministers of God: the teaching of Canon Law".

  Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" will give a talk entitled: "Spontaneity of charity. The needs and limits of normative structures".

  On Friday, 25 January, before their scheduled audience with the Pope, Cardinal Franc Rode C.M., prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, will address the gathering on: "Consecrated life and normative structures. Experience and perspectives of the relationship between general norms and particular statutes". For his part, Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Budapest, Hungary, and president of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences, will speak on: "Rigidity and elasticity of normative structures in ecumenical dialogue". Following a brief debate , the congress will conclude with a contribution from Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. on the theme: "Canon Law and the pastoral government of the Church. The role of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts".

  The congress, which is due to be held in the Vatican's Synod Hall on 24 and 25 January, will be attended by members of episcopal conferences, and by professors and students of Canon Law from Italy and the rest of the world.
OP/CODE CANON LAW/...                        VIS 20080122 (980)

Monday, January 21, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 21 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain.

  On Saturday, 19 January, he received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

 - Two prelates from the Conference of Latin Bishops in the Arab Regions (CELRA), on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Paul Hinder, O.F.M. Cap., apostolic vicar of Arabia.

    - Archbishop Paul Dahdah O.C.D., apostolic vicar of Beirut, Lebanon.

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
AP:AL/.../...                                VIS 20080121 (100)


VATICAN CITY, 21 JAN 2008 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office this morning, the presentation took place of the programme of events for the forthcoming Pauline Year, and in particular of initiatives to be held at the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls. The Pauline year will run from 28 June 2008 to 29 June 2009.

  Participating in today's press conference were Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, Fr. Johannes Paul Abrahamovicz, prior of the basilica's abbey, and Piero Carlo Visconti, of the administrative offices.

  Cardinal Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo remarked how Pope Benedict had called the Pauline year during the celebration of first Vespers for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul on 28 June 2007, in order to commemorate the second millennium of the birth of the Apostle of the Gentiles. On that occasion, the Pope had highlighted the ecumenical dimension of the event because St. Paul "was particularly committed to bringing the Good News to all people, and made prodigious efforts for the unity and harmony of all Christians".

  The cardinal explained how the Pauline year "will provide an occasion" to undertake various activities: "rediscover the figure of the Apostle; reread the numerous Letters he sent to the first Christian communities; relive the early years of our Church; delve deeply into his rich teaching to the 'gentiles'; meditate on his vigorous spirituality of faith, hope and charity; make a pilgrimage to his tomb and to the numerous places he visited while founding the first ecclesial communities; revitalise our faith and our role in today's Church in the light of his teachings; pray and work for the unity of all Christians in a united Church".

  Scheduled activities include a pastoral programme (daily ordinary and extraordinary liturgical celebrations, meetings for prayer and the Sacrament of Penance); a cultural religious programme (catecheses on St. Paul, conferences, congresses, concerts); pilgrimages (to the basilica and to other Pauline sites in and outside Rome); a cultural artistic programme (exhibitions, publications, postage stamps, the coining of a special medal, the issue of a stamp and a two euro coin by the Governorate of Vatican City State); a publishing programme (a guide to the basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls to be published in various languages, a new edition of the Acts of the Apostles and of the Letters of St. Paul, and the opening of a site www.annopaolino.org constantly updated with information relating to the event).

  Finally, the cardinal turned his attention the ecumenical programme, ecumenism being an important aspect of the Pauline Year. He announced that the chapel currently used as the baptistery, located between the basilica and the cloister of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, will become the "Ecumenical Chapel, maintaining its characteristic baptismal font but designated as a place in which to offer our Christian brethren a special place for prayer, either within their own groups, ... or together with Catholics, without the celebration of the Sacraments".

  This chapel will also be used to house the remains of St. Timothy of Antioch and of other unknown forth century martyrs, which were discovered in the hypogeum of St. Paul during restoration work on the basilica in 2006.
OP/PAULINE YEAR/CORDERO LANZA                VIS 20080121 (540)


VATICAN CITY, 21 JAN 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, in keeping with the tradition for today's feast of St. Agnes, the Pope today blessed two lambs, the wool of which will be used to make the palliums bestowed on new metropolitan archbishops on June 29, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles.

  The pallium is a white woollen band embroidered with six black crosses which is worn over the shoulders and has two hanging pieces, front and back. Worn by the Pope and by metropolitan archbishops, the pallium symbolises authority and expresses the special bond between the bishops and the Roman Pontiff.
.../BLESSING LAMBS:PALLIUM/...                VIS 20080121 (120)


VATICAN CITY, 21 JAN 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Pope received participants in the plenary assembly of the Congregation for Catholic Education, to whom he said: "It is highly appropriate that, in our own day, we should reflect on how to render this apostolic task of the ecclesial community incisive and effective", a task "entrusted to Catholic universities and, in particular, to ecclesiastical faculties".

  The Holy Father then referred to reforms in the ecclesiastical study of philosophy, reforms that "will not fail to highlight the metaphysical and sapiential dimensions of philosophy". He also mentioned the possibility of "examining the suitability of reforming the 1979 Apostolic Constitution 'Sapientia christiana', ... the 'magna charta' of ecclesiastical faculties which serves as the basis upon which to formulate criteria to assess the quality of those institutions, an assessment required by the Bologna Process of which the Holy See has been a member since 2003.

  "The ecclesiastical disciplines", he added, "especially theology, are today subjected to new interrogations in a world tempted, on the one hand, by a rationalism which follows a false idea of freedom unfettered by any religious references and, on the other, by various forms of fundamentalism which, with their incitement to violence and fanaticism, falsify the true essence of religion ".

  Faced with the educational crisis, Benedict XVI proceeded, "schools must ask themselves about the mission they are called to undertake in the modern social environment". Catholic schools, "though open to everyone and respecting the identity of each, cannot but present their own educational, human and Christian perspective". In this context, he said, they face a new challenge, that of "the coming together of religions and cultures in the joint search for truth". This means, on the one hand, "not excluding anyone in the name of their cultural or religious background", and on the other "not stopping at the mere recognition" of this cultural or religious difference.

  The Pope went on to refer to another theme being examined by the plenary assembly, that of reforming the document "Ratio fundamentalis institutionis sacerdotalis" for seminaries, issued in 1970 and updated in 1985. Any reform, said the Pope, "will have to highlight the importance of the proper correlation between the various dimensions of priestly formation in the perspective of Church-communion, following the indications of Vatican Council II. ... The formation of future priests must, furthermore, offer them guidance and help to enter into dialogue with contemporary culture.

  "Human and cultural formation must, then, be significantly reinforced and sustained also with the help of modern sciences, because certain destabilising social factors that exist in the world today (such as the situation of separated families, the educational crisis, widespread violence, etc.), render new generations fragile".

  The Pope concluded his talk by highlighting the need for "adequate formation in spiritual life so as to make Christian communities, particularly in parishes, ever more aware of their vocation, and capable of providing adequate responses to questions of spirituality, especially as posed by the young. For this to happen, the Church must not lack qualified and responsible apostles and evangelisers".
AC/EDUCATION/...                            VIS 20080121 (520)


VATICAN CITY, 21 JAN 2008 (VIS) - This morning, the Pope received participants in the Sixth Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, who are meeting to prepare the Synod's General Assembly, due to be held from 5 to 26 October.

  After expressing his thanks for a speech by Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, the Holy Father mentioned his own recent Encyclical "Spe salvi". The "social character of hope", he said, is evident in the "'connection between love of God and responsibility for others', which makes it possible not to lapse into selfish desires of salvation".

  "It is my belief that the effective application of this fruitful principle is evident in the Synod, in which encounter becomes communion and the solicitude for all Churches is expressed in the shared concern of all.

  "The forthcoming General Assembly of the Synod will reflect on the 'Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church'", he added. "The great tasks facing the ecclesial community in the modern world (and among the many I particularly stress evangelisation and ecumenism) are centred on the Word of God and, at the same time, draw therefrom their justification and support.

  "Just as the Church's missionary activity ... finds its inspiration and its goal in the Lord's merciful revelation, so ecumenical dialogue cannot base itself on the words of human wisdom or on skilful strategies, but must be animated exclusively by constant reference to the original Word, which God consigned to His Church to be read, interpreted and lived in communion".

  "In this context, St. Paul's doctrine reveals a particular strength, clearly founded on divine revelation but also on his own apostolic experience which, ever and anew, made it clear to him that not human wisdom and eloquence but only the force of the Holy Spirit builds the Church in faith".

  The Pope went on to remark that the Synod will coincide with the celebration of the Pauline Year and that the meeting will provide pastors of the Church with an opportunity to reflect on "the witness of this great Apostle and Herald of the Word of God. ... May his example be an encouragement for everyone to accept the Word of salvation and to translate it into daily life, in faithful discipleship of Christ".

  Benedict XVI concluded his talk to the participants in the Sixth Ordinary Council by telling them: "yours is a meritorious service to the Church" because the Synod is the institution best-qualified "for promoting truth and unity of pastoral dialogue within the mystical Body of Christ".
AC/SYNOD BISHOPS/ETEROVIC                    VIS 20080121 (450)


VATICAN CITY, 21 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

  "This morning, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Jose Manuel Ramos-Horta, president of the Democratic Republic of East Timor, accompanied by his entourage. The president subsequently went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "During the discussions, mention was made of the cordial relations between the Holy See and the Democratic Republic of East Timor, and of the co-operation between the Catholic Church and the State in the fields of education, healthcare, and the struggle against poverty.

  "The political and social situation of the country was also examined, with particular emphasis given to the process of national reconciliation and to the support of the international community for the consolidation of democratic institutions".
OP/EAST TIMOR/RAMOS-HORTA                VIS 20080121 (160)


VATICAN CITY, 20 JAN 2008 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus today, the Pope greeted the 200,000 faithful present, and in particular university students and professors who had come to demonstrate their solidarity after he was compelled to postpone the visit he had been due to make last week to Rome's "La Sapienza" University.

  After expressing his thanks to Cardinal Camillo Ruini, his vicar general for the diocese of Rome, who had promoted and organised the participation in today's Angelus, the Holy Father explained how he had at first willingly accepted the invitation to visit "La Sapienza" for the inauguration of the university's academic year. "Unfortunately", he said, "as you know, the climate that had arisen made my presence at the ceremony inappropriate and, against my will, I postponed the visit, though I did send the text of the discourse I had prepared for the occasion.

  "To the university environment, which was my world for many years", added Benedict XVI, "I am linked by my love for the search for truth, for discussion, for frank and respectful dialogue between different points of view.

  "This is also the mission of the Church, committed to following Jesus, Master of life, of truth and of love. As a professor - so to say, emeritus - who has met many students in his life, I encourage you all, dear university students and professors, always to be respectful of the opinions of others and to seek truth and goodness with a free and responsible spirit".

  Going on to address some remarks to administrators, teachers, parents and pupils of Catholic schools, who came for the Day of Catholic Schools which the diocese of Rome is celebrating today, the Holy Father said: "In educating children and young people in the faith, Catholic schools also have an important role to play. I encourage you, then, to continue your work, which has the Gospel as its focus, following an educational syllabus that aims at the integral formation of the human person. Despite the difficulties you encounter, continue your mission with courage and faith, cultivating a constant passion for education and a generous commitment and service to the new generations".

  Before concluding the Pope, who was interrupted various times by applause, added some off-the-cuff remarks: "Thank you to everyone for this show of solidarity. ... Let us continue in this spirit of fraternity, of love for truth and freedom, of joint commitment for a more fraternal and tolerant society".
ANG/UNIVERSITY/...                        VIS 20080121 (420)

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service