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Friday, October 16, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 16 OCT 2009 (VIS) - Given below are extracts from further reports of the language groups, presented yesterday morning in the Vatican's Synod Hall during the Fifteenth General Congregation, the texts of which were only made public yesterday afternoon.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE GROUP A: ARCHBISHOP ANTHONY JOHN VALENTINE OBINNA OF OWERRI, NIGERIA. "There was a positive and healthy experience of ecclesial communion throughout the Synod. Let us try to transmit this within our Churches and organisations. ... The lay faithful have to be made aware of their role as agents of reconciliation, justice and peace in their areas of work or spheres of activity. ... To strengthen the African family it is not sufficient to condemn: positive initiatives need to be undertaken to correct irregular situations. To respond to the numerous victims of injustice on the continent, the unborn (abortion), orphans, street children, disabled, prisoners, persecuted and marginalised communities, we need to create structures of justice, peace, and pastoral care, understanding and empathy in the Church and from the Church. ... The compendium of the Church's social doctrine should be an obligatory text for the formation and skills acquisition of lay people. ... We need to use official texts on human life and sexuality to teach seminarians and young people the Christian doctrine and approach to sexuality. ... The catechesis on the family has to be promoted to become part of the compendium of the Church's social doctrine. Women have to be given roles in the Church as full members. Renewed efforts have to be made to eliminate discrimination against women in all areas".

ENGLISH LANGUAGE GROUP B: BISHOP SITHEMBELE ANTON SIPUKA OF UMTATA, SOUTH AFRICA. "We note that the lack of publicity for the Synod reflects our weakness in communication, so we need, on our return, to communicate what we discussed and decided here. We could give more publicity to the results of the Synod in South Africa to make up for shortcomings in its preparation. We note that there is a link between this and the last Synod, the Family of God and how to keep them together are the objectives. We need to organise more Synods, reinforce the commissions of justice and peace, or establish them where they do not exist, and form small committees to spread the results from the foundations, even before the final publication of the results of the Synod by the Pope. ... Unfortunately, we do not have a permanent formation after Baptism and Confirmation that might help people remain in the Church. For this reason we have to look again at our current methodology of catechesis. There is a problem with the hierarchical structure in African society as a result of which superiors cannot ask forgiveness of inferiors. For example, it is unthinkable that a husband would ask forgiveness of a wife or an old man of a young man. This also applies to ethnic groups: one ethnic group might not consider it appropriate to ask another for forgiveness. It further appears that traditional African means of reconciliation are an obstacle to the Christian ideal and practice of reconciliation".

FRENCH LANGUAGE GROUP B: BISHOP LOUIS PORTELLA MBUYU OF KINKALA, PRESIDENT OF THE EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF THE CONGO. "There are many urgent requirements: (1) The formation of people with decision-making power, now and in the future (a spiritual and doctrinal, but also a technical formation, undertaken by chaplains who have also undergone appropriate formation). (2) Giving women their due place. (3) Educating people in peace from an early age and helping them change their way of looking at others, the same applies to education in the rule law and in all other Christian values that concern society. The family, the fundamental cell of society, merits important pastoral attention. The pastoral care of the family involves all its members: children and young people must receive a careful education, couples must progress in conjugal love, parents must accept their responsibilities as the first teachers of their children. The Christian values of matrimony and family must therefore be at the centre of appropriate pastoral initiatives. The relationship between our culture and the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation leads us towards an incultured catechesis of these Sacraments. In this sector, why not think about a continental Eucharistic Congress inspired by theological research, catechesis and incultured celebration?"

ENGLISH LANGUAGE GROUPS E: BISHOP MARTIN IGWEMEZIE UZOUKWU OF MINNA, NIGERIA. "We have to have a positive attitude towards African traditions, see them as an opportunity and examine them closely to purify and use them in the process of reconciliation. Diversity too has to be seen as a gift; it was created by God and it is a resource. But often politicians use our diversity to divide one ethnic group from another and create tension and conflict; for this reason reconciliation has to be de-politicised, freed from the blackmail of not always clear political motivations. ... Particular attention must be paid to the formation of the clergy who in their work are building the Kingdom of God every day. Even the priest risks losing sight of the greatness of his vocation and is threatened by the mentality of the world that spreads the non-values of materialism. The priest has to imitate Christ in serving, not in being served. Seminarians should be taught how to use the new media, to make their education more complete and to be able to evangelise also using internet and other new instruments that become available with technological progress".


VATICAN CITY, 16 OCT 2009 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. released the following declaration yesterday afternoon:

  "The first of the planned meetings with representatives of the Society of St. Pius X will take place on the morning of Monday 26 October.

  "For the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei' the meeting will be attended, apart from by its secretary Msgr. Guido Pozzi, by Archbishop Luis F. Ladaria Ferrer S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and by the previously appointed experts: Fr. Charles Morerod O.P., secretary of the International Theological Commission; Msgr. Fernando Ocariz, vicar general of Opus Dei; and Fr. Karl Josef Becker S.J. All three experts are consultors of the Congregation for he Doctrine of the Faith.

  "The meeting will take place in the Palazzo del Sant'Uffizio. The contents of the discussions, which will focus on unresolved doctrinal issues, will remain strictly private.

  "At the end of the meeting a communique will be released".
OP/MEETING/SOCIETY ST. PIUS X                VIS 20091016 (180)


VATICAN CITY, 16 OCT 2009 (VIS) - "This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Prince Albert II of Monaco", according to a Holy See Press Office communique released today.

  The Prince "then went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "In the course of the cordial discussions, and having mentioned certain aspects of the current international situation such as the integral development of peoples and the protection of natural resources and the environment, attention turned to themes of mutual interest including the importance of a solid cultural and moral formation of the young and the defence of life in all its phases".

  This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI also received in audience Yulia Vladimirovna Timoshenko, prime minister of Ukraine.

  "The prime minister subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "During the cordial discussions, attention turned to certain questions associated with the promotion of peace and of international co-operation, especially in Europe.

  "The focus then turned to the contribution made by the Catholic Church, of both rites, to Ukrainian society, especially in the field of education and in spreading human and Christian values".

  "Furthermore, mention was made of all matters of mutual interest in the relationship between the civil and religious authorities, and the hope was expressed that the recent positive developments may help to solve the unresolved questions".
OP/AUDIENCES/MONACO:UKRAINE                VIS 20091016 (270)


VATICAN CITY, 16 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a Message to Jacques Diouf, director general of the United Nation's Rome-based Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) for the occasion of World Food Day. The Day falls annually on 16 October and commemorates the anniversary of the foundation of the FAO in 1945. The theme of this year's Day is: "Achieving food security in times of crisis".

  "The current crisis, which affects all sectors of the economy without distinction, strikes particularly seriously at the agricultural world where the situation has become dramatic", writes Benedict XVI. "The crisis calls on governments and on the various components of the international community to make decisive and effective choices.

  "Guaranteeing individuals and peoples the chance to defeat the scourge of hunger means ensuring they have real access to adequate and healthy nourishment", he adds. "This is, in fact, a concrete expression of the right to life which, though solemnly proclaimed, all too often fails to be fully implemented".

  The Holy Father further observes that the theme of the Day makes it clear that "agriculture must be able to command a sufficient level of investment and resources". The theme also "helps us to understand that the goods of creation are by their nature limited, and hence they require responsible management capable of favouring food security, also with a view to that of future generations".

  "Achieving this objective", Benedict XVI continues, "calls for a modification in lifestyles and ways of thinking". What is needed is "a form of co-operation that protects the cultivation methods of each area and avoids the thoughtless exploitation of natural resources. Furthermore, I hope that such co-operation may safeguard the values specific to the rural world and the fundamental rights of people who work the land. ... Experience shows that technical solutions, advanced though they may be, are ineffective if they do not focus on the person, who remains the principle protagonist and who, in his spiritual and material dimension, is the origin and aim of all activity".

  Finally the Pope recalls that access to food "is a fundamental right of individuals and peoples, and will become a reality, and hence a form of security, if adequate development is guaranteed in all the various regions. In particular, the drama of hunger will only be overcome by 'eliminating the structural causes that give rise to it and promoting the agricultural development of poorer countries. This can be done by investing in rural infrastructures, irrigation systems, transport, organisation of markets, and in the development and dissemination of agricultural technology that can make the best use of the human, natural and socio-economic resources that are more readily available at the local level'".
MESS/WORLD FOOD DAY/DIOUF                VIS 20091016 (460)


VATICAN CITY, 16 OCT 2009 (VIS) - Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, has written a message to Hindus for the feast of Deepavali, which is being celebrated during the month of October. The message, published today, is entitled: "Christians and Hindus: Committed to Integral Human Development".

  "In the process of integral development, protection of human life and respect for the dignity and fundamental rights of the person, are a responsibility of everyone, both individually and collectively", says the text, which also bears the signature of Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, secretary of the pontifical council.

  "Respect for others therefore implies the recognition of their freedom: freedom of conscience, thought and religion".

  Cardinal Tauran and Archbishop Celata conclude by stating that "integral human development also requires the political will to work towards ensuring greater protection of human rights and peaceful co-existence. Development, freedom and peace are inextricably linked together, and they complete one another".
CON-DIR/DEEPAVALI/TAURAN:CELATA            VIS 20091016 (170)


VATICAN CITY, 16 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

 - Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, apostolic nuncio to Cuba.
AP/.../...                                VIS 20091016 (40)


VATICAN CITY, 16 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Bishop Henryk Marian Tomasik, auxiliary of Siedlce, Poland, as bishop of Radom (area 8,000, population 918,328, Catholics 911,180, priests 771, religious 531), Poland.

 - Fr. Felice Ruffini M.I., as a member of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care.
NER:NA/.../TOMASIK:RUFFINI                        VIS 20091016 (60)

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