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Friday, October 17, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 17 OCT 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the presence of the Holy Father, the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops celebrated its Eighteenth General Congregation, during which the language groups presented their reports.

  The president delegate on duty was Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

  Extracts from some of the reports are given below:

FRENCH LANGUAGE GROUP C: ARCHBISHOP PIERRE-MARIE CARRE OF ALBI, FRANCE. "Biblical renewal in the Catholic Church is still recent. ... We must work harder to make this great text better known. Simple propositions are necessary so that the Bible becomes the spiritual nourishment of all the members of the Church. Here are our propositions: (1) A reading of the Scripture that starts in the family and continues in biblical evenings in the parish. ... (2) Teach a living listening of the Word of God. ... (3) Pedagogical means, online support (internet) to simplify the understanding of the more difficult biblical passages. (4) We hope for a revision of the lectionary. (5) We could recognise - institute - extraordinary ministers of the Word, ... catechists, readers, animators of grassroots communities. ... (6) Intrinsic tie between Eucharist and the Word, ... enhancing the roles of the servants of the Word (readers, cantors, preachers, etc.). ... (7) Spreading the Bible. Everything must be done to ensure the greatest number of languages for translations. ... (8) How to heal the relationship between exegetes and theologians? ... In the formation of priests, there should be several approaches to Scripture: 'lectio divina', exegesis. (9) World Congress on the Word of God. ... (10) Dialogue with the Jews ... could help to complete research into the life-context of the Bible, with a historical-critical approach. (11) The Holy Land, the Fifth Gospel. A pilgrimage in the footsteps of Christ and His Apostles allows a renewal in Faith. (12) Women, 'passers-on' of the Word. We hope that women, and especially mothers, may receive a formation appropriate to their role as 'passers-on' of the Word".

ENGLISH LANGUAGE GROUP A: ARCHBISHOP MARK COLERIDGE OF CANBERRA AND GOULBURN, AUSTRALIA. "There is a need for an inclusive and comprehensive pastoral plan which is based upon the Word of God. ... There is a need to provide the poor with what is their most basic right and need: the Word of God. ... That is why it is vital that the Bible be translated into as many languages as possible. There is a need to lead young people to know and love the Word of God so that they may assume their role as agents of mission, especially among their peers. There is a need to stress the essential evangelising mission of the laity by virtue of their Baptism. In particular, there is a need to focus on the family as the domestic Church. There is a need to stress that the life of the Church is mission and to empower as many people as possible to undertake mission without excessive fear as to whether they are fully equipped or not. There is a need for solid ongoing formation in the Word of God for all agents of mission, including the bishops. ... A suggestion at our first meeting was that it may be better if the small groups were to meet in continental rather than linguistic groupings, since then they would have more in common as the basis for discussion".

  This afternoon the Synod Fathers will again meet in language groups so as to complete the proposals to be placed before the Holy Father. At the end of the afternoon the finished proposals will be delivered to the Pope by the secretary general of the Synod.
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VATICAN CITY, 17 OCT 2008 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, Benedict XVI attended the screening of a new documentary film, "Testimony", which is based on the book "A Life with Karol" by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, Poland, and the Italian journalist Gian Franco Svidercoschi.

  After the screening the Pope addressed some brief remarks to the audience, many of them Polish, noting that the film "takes our minds back to that late evening of 16 October 1978, thirty years ago today, which has remained engraved in everyone's heart" when the recently-elected Pope, the first Pole in history and the first non-Italian for centuries, appeared before the faithful and said in Italian: "If I make a mistake [in the language] you will correct me".

  "We could say that the pontificate of John Paul II is enclosed between two expressions", said the Holy Father, his first phrase of: "Open the doors to Christ! Do not be afraid", and his words on his deathbed: "Let me go to the house of the Father".

  "Revealing previously unknown episodes, the film shows the human simplicity, the firm courage and, finally, the suffering of John Paul II, which he faced to the end with his inborn hardiness and the patience of a humble servant of the Gospel".

  Benedict XVI highlighted how John Paul II "marked the history of the Church and of the world in the last part of the 20th century and the beginning of the third millennium", and that "thanks to this film" those who did not know him "have a way of appreciating his valour and evangelical passion".

  "The film also gives us a better understanding of John Paul II's homeland, Poland, and of its cultural and religious traditions", said the Pope. "It enables us to revisit famous events in ecclesial and civil life, and episodes of which most people are unaware. The whole story is recounted with the affection of one who shared closely in these events, living in the shadow of their protagonist".

  After thanking Cardinal Dziwisz, who remained at Karol Wojtyla's side for 39 years, and the director of the film and his associates, the Pope reiterated John Paul II's invitation, "do not be afraid", and told those present to "bear witness to Christ courageously".

  "Testimony", directed by the Polish director Pawel Pitera, was filmed in the Vatican, Krakow, Wadowice (the town where Karol Wojtyla was born), Portugal and Germany. It is narrated by Cardinal Dziwisz himself and by the English actor, Michael York.
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VATICAN CITY, 17 OCT 2008 (VIS) - According to a note published today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, at 6.30 p.m. on Saturday 25 October, Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, metropolitan archbishop of Monterrey, Mexico, will take possession of the title of St. Mary of the Presentation in Via di Torrevecchia 1104, Rome.
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VATICAN CITY, 17 OCT 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Bishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Duluth, U.S.A., as coadjutor archbishop of Cincinnati (area 22,118, population 2,964,909, Catholics 500,000, priests 501, permanent deacons 149, religious 1,370), U.S.A. The archbishop-elect was born in Sheldon, U.S.A. in 1948 he was ordained a priest in 1974 and consecrated a bishop in 2001.

 - Fr. Francesco Asti, professor at the St. Thomas section of the Theological Faculty of Southern Italy, as a consultor of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
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VATICAN CITY, 17 OCT 2008 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

 - Cardinal Antonio Jose Gonzalez Zumarraga, archbishop emeritus of Quito, Ecuador, on 13 October at the age of 83.

 - Bishop Pablo Barrachina Estevan, emeritus of Orihuela-Alicante, Spain, on 13 October at the age of 95.

 - Bishop Joan Carrera Planas, auxiliary of Barcelona, Spain, on 3 October at the age of 78.

 - Archbishop Antonio Iannucci, emeritus of Pescara-Penne, Italy, on 14 October at the age of 94.

 - Bishop Eduardus Sangsun S.V.D. of Ruteng, Indonesia, on 13 October at the age of 65.

 - Bishop Adam Smigielski of Sosnowiec, Poland, on 7 October at the age of 74.
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