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Friday, September 26, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 26 SEP 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

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

    - Bishop Carlos Maria Collazzi Irazabal S.D.B. of Mercedes.

    - Bishop Luis del Castillo Estrada S.J. of Melo, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Roberto Reinaldo Caceres Gonzalez.

  This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
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VATICAN CITY, 26 SEP 2008 (VIS) - Made public today was a speech delivered on 25 September by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in New York, before the 63rd session of the U.N. General Assembly which is considering the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

  Speaking English, Archbishop Migliore highlighted how the MDGs "will be achieved if their attainment becomes a priority for all States". To this end, "we need to foment a new culture of human relations marked by a fraternal vision of the world, a culture based upon the moral imperative of recognising the unity of humankind and the practical imperative of giving a contribution to peace and the well-being of all.

  "The money and resources that the least developed countries need in terms of direct aid, financial assistance and trade advantages are meagre compared to the world-wide military expenses or the total expenses of non-primary necessities of populations in more developed countries", he added.

  "In these days we are witnessing a debate on an economic rescue aimed at resolving a crisis that risks disrupting the economy of the most developed countries and leaving thousands and thousands of families without work. This rescue of enormous proportions, which amounts to many times the whole of international aid, cannot but raise a pressing question. How are we able to find funds to save a broken financial system yet remain unable to find the resources necessary to invest in the development of all regions of the world, beginning with the most destitute?

  "For this reason", he concluded, "the globalisation of solidarity through the prompt achievement of the MDGs established by the Millennium Declaration is a crucial moral obligation of the international community".
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VATICAN CITY, 26 SEP 2008 (VIS) - This morning in Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father received 300 participants in an international meeting of the "Retrouvaille" Association, which has the aim of helping married couples in crisis.

  The Pope recalled how the group came into being in Canada in 1977, thanks to the efforts of Canadian husband and wife, Guy and Jeannine Beland, "to help couples in serious crisis to face their problems with a specific programme aimed at rebuilding their relationship, not as an alternative to psychological therapies but following a different and complementary route.

  "You are not professionals", he added, "you are married people who in many cases have experienced the same difficulties yourselves, and you have overcome them with the grace of God and the support of Retrouvaille, experiencing in your turn the desire and joy of placing your experience at the service of others. Among you are a number of priests who accompany the married people on their journey".

  A serious matrimonial crisis, said Pope Benedict, "has two faces. On the one hand, and especially in its most acute and painful phase, it appears to be a failure; ... this is the negative face. But there is another face, one we are often unaware of but that God sees. In fact, as nature shows us, each crisis is a passage to a new phase of life. ... At the moment of break-up", he told his audience, "you offer couples ... a positive reference to which to entrust themselves in their desperation". In this way "your meetings offer a 'handhold' so as not to lose the way altogether and gradually to climb back up the slope".

  Recalling the evangelical episode of the wedding at Cana, the Holy Father indicated that the "good wine" held back until the end "is a symbol of salvation, of the new nuptial alliance that Jesus came to seal with humankind". In this context he affirmed that "when married couples in difficulties or - as your experience shows - already separated, entrust themselves to Mary and turn to Him Who made them 'a single flesh', they can be certain that the crisis will - with the help of the Lord - become a way to grow, and that love will be purified, matured and reinforced".

  "Yours is a 'counter-current' service", he told the members of the association. "Today, in fact, when a couple goes into crisis many people are to be found who advise them to separate. Divorce is even easily proposed to people married in the name of the Lord, forgetting that man cannot separate what God has brought together".

  "In order to achieve your mission", the Pope concluded, "you need to nourish your spiritual life continually, to put love into what you do so that contact with difficult situations does not cause your hope to run dry or be reduced to a mere formula".


VATICAN CITY, 26 SEP 2008 (VIS) - In the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo this morning, Benedict XVI received prelates from the Uruguayan Episcopal Conference, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

  "A visit to the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul", the Pope told them, "provides a good opportunity to delve more deeply into the significance of the ministry of the successors to the Apostles". It is "an opportunity to reinforce the bonds of effective and affective unity among the college of bishops, which must demonstrate ... the ideal ... of the ecclesial community since its origins: that of 'oneness of heart and mind', a visible example to promote a spirit of fraternity and harmony among your faithful, and in modern society so often dominated by individualism and rivalries".

  Such communion also appears, the Holy Father noted, in the Uruguayan bishops' implementation of pastoral guidelines inspired in Jesus' meeting with the disciples in Emmaus, when "the Master, who accompanied and conversed with His companions, explained the Scriptures to them". Hence, "promoting knowledge of and meditation upon Sacred Scripture, explaining it faithfully in preaching and catechesis, or teaching it in schools, is vital in order to for people to live their Christian vocation with greater awareness, firmness and security".

  "The Word of God is also the source and ... content of your ministry", said the Pope, "even more necessary at a time in which many voices seek to silence God in personal and social life, leading mankind along paths that undermine true hope and disregard the firm truth in which the human heart can find rest".

  "Teach then", he told the bishops "the faith of the Church in its entirety, with the courage and conviction of those who live from it and for it, not shrinking from an explicit proclamation of the moral values of Catholic doctrine, which are at times the subject of debate in political and cultural circles and in the communications media, such as those referring to the family, to sexuality and to life ... from conception to natural end".

  Benedict XVI reminded the prelates of their reliance on "the priceless collaboration of priests, who should be constantly encouraged so that, without bowing before the dominant mentality of the world, they remain true disciples and missionaries of Christ, carrying His message of salvation ... to everyone who thirsts for words learnt of the Spirit rather than purely human knowledge. ...In this way they will bear faithful witness of what they preach, and help their brothers and sisters to flee a purely superficial religiosity and ... learn from Christ to love 'in justice and sanctity of life'".

  In conclusion, the Pope encouraged the Uruguayan bishops not to give way to discouragement "in so many situations of religious indifference or apathy", and to continue to be bearers of "the hope that does not disappoint" and "of Christ's love for the poor and needy. ... In difficult situations, which also affect the people of Uruguay, the Church is called to show greatness of heart, solidarity, and the capacity for sacrifice of the family of the children of God towards brothers and sisters in difficulty".
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