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Monday, July 27, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 25 JUL 2009 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon , Benedict XVI presided at the celebration of Vespers in the cathedral of Aosta, Italy, in the presence of four hundred priests, religious and lay representatives from the parishes of the diocese.

  In his homily, delivered without notes, the Pope said that if "our relationship with God is not living, if it is not lived, then none of our other relationships can take their correct form. And this also holds true for society, for humankind. Here too, if we do without God, if God is absent, we lack the compass ... to show us the path, the direction we must follow".

  "We must bring the truth of God back into the world, make Him known", he went on. "Evangelisation consists precisely in the distant God becoming close, in God no longer being far off but near, in this 'known-unknown' finally making Himself known and revealing His face. ... He shows us His face, He enters our world. There is no longer any need to use other powers because He is the true power, the Almighty".

  The Holy Father highlighted the importance of understanding "that God's omnipotence is not an arbitrary power, because God is Good, He is Truth. Hence God can do everything but He cannot act against goodness, He cannot act against truth, He cannot act against love and freedom, because He Himself is goodness, love and true freedom".

  "God is the custodian of our freedom, of love and of truth. This eye that looks down is not an evil eye watching over us, but the presence of a love that never abandons us".

  Benedict XVI highlighted how "the pinnacle of God's power is mercy and forgiveness. In our modern concept of what power is we think of people who possess great property", who can "influence the market. We think of those with great military power, who have the power to threaten. Stalin's question 'how many divisions does the Pope have?' continues to characterise the typical idea of power. Those who have power are dangerous, they can threaten and destroy".

  "But the Revelation tells us that this is not so. True power is the power of grace and mercy. In His mercy God shows true power".

  "God has suffered and in the Son suffers with us", said Pope Benedict. "Thus He shows true divine power. He wanted to suffer with us and for us. We are never abandoned in our sufferings".

  "Why was it necessary to suffer in order to save the world?" the Holy Father asked. "It was necessary because in the world there exists an ocean of evil, of injustice, of hatred and of violence, and the many victims of hatred and injustice have the right to see justice done. ... God must enter into this world and oppose the ocean of injustice with a greater ocean of goodness and love".

  Following the celebration of Vespers, the Pope left the cathedral and greeted the faithful gathered outside. "I would just like to say thank-you for the sympathy and affection you show me", he said. "My hope is you enjoy a happy holiday, free from 'incidents'", he added jokingly raising his right arm in its plaster cast.

  Returning to his residence at Les Combes, the Pope paused to meet elderly people in the old people's home of Introd, whom he greeted from his car window due to the driving rain.
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VATICAN CITY, 26 JUL 2009 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI prayed the Angelus with faithful gathered near his chalet at Les Combes in the Italian region of Valle d'Aosta where he is spending a holiday.

  Before the Marian prayer, the Holy Father thanked God for "the joy of these days when I was truly able to relax, despite the accident of which you are well aware", he added referring to the fall in which he broke his right wrist.

  The Pontiff then spoke of today's Gospel in which St. John describes the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. "It is", he said, "as if the Eucharist were anticipated in the great sign of the bread of life. In this Year for Priests, ... we members of the clergy may see ourselves reflected in this text of John's, identifying ourselves with the Apostles when they say: where are we going to find bread for these people to eat? And when we read of that anonymous boy with his five barley loaves and two fish, we too are moved to exclaim: But what are they among so many people? In other words, who am I? How can I with my limitations help Jesus in His mission? And it is the Lord Who provides the answer: By putting in his 'saintly and venerable' hands the little they are, priests become instruments of salvation for many people, for everyone!"

  The Pope then went on to mention Sts. Joachim and Anna, parents of the Virgin and, hence, grandparents of Jesus, whose feast day falls today. Emphasising the vital importance of education in Church pastoral care, Benedict XVI invited people "to pray for grandparents who, in families, are the depositories and often witnesses of the fundamental values of life.

  "The educational role of grandparents is always important, and it becomes even more important when, for various reasons, parents are unable to ensure an adequate presence alongside their children as they are growing", the Pope added, entrusting all the grandparents of the world to the protection of Sts. Joachim and Anna. Finally, following the Angelus prayer, he also mentioned "all elderly people, especially those who are alone or experiencing moments of difficulty".
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VATICAN CITY, 27 JUL 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Luis R. Zarama, vicar general of the archdiocese of Atlanta, U.S.A., as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 55,521, population 6,455,000, Catholics 757,000, priests 279, permanent deacons 202, religious 189). The bishop-elect was born in Pasto, Colombia in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1993.

  On Saturday 25 July it was made public that he:

 - Appointed Bishop Joseph Vu Duy Thong, auxiliary of Thanh-Pho Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, as bishop of Phan Thiet (area 7,828, population 1,595,000, Catholics 155,287, priests 107, religious 482), Vietnam. He succeeds Bishop Paul Nguyen Thanh Hoan, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Pierre Nguyen Van De S.D.B., auxiliary of Bui Chu, Vietnam, as bishop of Thai Binh (area 2,301, population 2,948,000, Catholics 121,500, priests 57, religious 123), Vietnam. He succeeds Bishop Francois X. Nguyen Van Sang, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Fr. Joseph Nguyen Nang, rector of the major seminary of Xuan Loc, Vietnam, as bishop of Phat Diem (area 1,787, population 980,987, Catholics 153,131, priests 54, religious 215), Vietnam. The bishop-elect was born in Phuc Nhac, Vietnam in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1990.

 - Appointed Msgr. Charles Phillip Richard Moth, vicar general of the archdiocese of Southwark, England, as military ordinary for Great Britain. The bishop-elect was born in Chingola, Zambia in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1982.

 - Appointed Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Semarang, Indonesia, as coadjutor archbishop of Jakarta (area 2,988, population 11,957,000, Catholics 458,369, priests 281, religious 1,049), Indonesia.

 - Appointed Fr. Thomas Vu Dinh Hieu, chancellor of Xuan Loc, Vietnam, as auxiliary of the same diocese (area 5,955, population 2,386,744, Catholics 816,342, priests 343, religious 1,915). The bishop-elect was born in Ninh My, Vietnam in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1999.

 - Appointed as members of the International Theological Commission: Fr. Marco Doldi, professor of moral theology at the Faculty of Theology of Northern Italy in Genoa; Fr. Gilles Emery O.P., professor of systematic theology at the Faculty of Theology of Fribourg, Switzerland; Fr. Mario Angel Flores, professor of systematic theology at the Faculty of Theology of Mexico in Mexico City; Fr. Francis Gustilo S.D.B., professor of theology and spirituality at the Don Bosco Study Centre of Paranaque in Manila, Philippines; Fr. Javier Prades Lopez, professor of systematic theology at the Faculty of Theology of Madrid, Spain; Fr. Michael Schulz, professor of systematic theology at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Bonn, Germany; Fr. Pierangelo Sequeri, professor of fundamental theology at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy in Milan; Fr. Philippe Vallin, professor of systematic theology at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Strasbourg, France, and Fr. Guillermo Zuleta professor of systematic theology and of canon law at the University of Medellin, Colombia

 - Appointed Cardinal Franc Rode C.M., prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the millennium of the archdiocese of Alba Julia, Romania, due to take place on 29 September.
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