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Wednesday, May 14, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 14 MAY 2008 (VIS) - In today's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father resumed his series of catecheses on the Fathers of the Church, concentrating his remarks on the figure of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite whose aim, said the Pope, was "to place Greek wisdom at the service of the Gospel".

  Benedict XVI explained how, during a period marked by "harsh disputes following the Council of Chalcedon", this sixth-century author affirmed the fact that "the light of truth ... eradicates error and brings the good to shine forth. With this principle he purified Greek thought, bringing it into relation with the Gospel".

  The Pseudo-Dionysius used Greek polytheism "to show the truth of Christ and transform the polytheistic world into a cosmos created by God" in which "all creatures together reflect the truth of God".

  "Because the creature is a glorification of God, the Pseudo-Dionysius' theology becomes a theological liturgy. God is found, above all, by praising Him and not just through reflection".

  This Father of the Church created the first "great mystical theology. ... With him the word 'mystical' took on a more personal and intimate meaning: it expresses the soul's journey towards God. ... The Pseudo-Dionysius shows that at the end of the road to God is God Himself, Who comes close to us in Jesus Christ".

  "Today Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite assumes fresh relevance", said the Holy Father. "He appears as a greater mediator in the modern dialogue between Christianity and the mystical theologies of Asia, the well-known characteristic of which lies in their conviction that it cannot be said who God is, that He can be spoken of only in negative terms, ... and that only by entering this experience of 'no' can He be reached".

  Dialogue, said Benedict XVI "does not accept superficiality. It is when we enter deeply into the encounter with Christ that a vast area for dialogue opens before us. When one meets the light of truth, one realises that it is a light for everyone: disputes disappear and it becomes possible to understand one another, or at least to speak to and approach one another".
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VATICAN CITY, 14 MAY 2008 (VIS) - Following his catechesis in this morning's general audience, Benedict XVI launched an appeal for "the people of Sichuan and adjoining provinces in China, so harshly affected by the earthquake which has provoked serious loss of human life, left large numbers missing and caused incalculable damages.

  "I invite you to join me in fervent prayer for those who have lost their lives. I remain spiritually close to the people suffering from such a devastating calamity; and we implore God to grant them relief in their suffering". The Pope concluded his appeal by asking the Lord "to give support to all those involved in meeting the immediate needs" of the victims.
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VATICAN CITY, 14 MAY 2008 (VIS) - Benedict XVI sent the following telegram to Archbishop Marcel Honorat Leon Agboton of Cotonou, Benin, for the death of Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, dean emeritus of the College of Cardinals. Cardinal Gantin died in Paris, France, yesterday at the age of 86.

  "Having learned the sad news of the death of Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, dean emeritus of the College of Cardinals, I unite myself in prayer to the bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Benin, to the faithful of the archdiocese of Cotonou and of all Benin, to the family of the deceased and to all those who mourn. I ask God the Father, from Whom all mercy comes, to welcome into His light and peace this eminent son of Benin and of Africa who, universally esteemed, was animated by a profound apostolic spirit and by an exalted sense of the Church and her mission in the world. I give thanks to the Lord for his fruitful ministry, first as archbishop of Cotonou then, for many years, at the Holy See which he served faithfully and generously, especially in the Congregation for Bishops and as a member of the College of Cardinals, of which he was also a much-respected dean. In sign of consolation, I send an affectionate apostolic blessing to the priests, religious, catechists and all the faithful of Benin, and to those who will participate in his funeral".


VATICAN CITY, 14 MAY 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Romulo T. de la Cruz of San Jose de Antique, Philippines, as bishop of Kidapawan (area 5,199, population 783,179, Catholics 418,803, priests 42, religious 64), Philippines.
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