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Wednesday, October 28, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 28 OCT 2009 (VIS) - During this Wednesday's General Audience celebrated in St. Peter's Square the Pope spoke about a series of events that, during the twelfth century, created a renaissance in Latin theology.

  "During this time," he explained, "a relative peace reigned in Western Europe, which ensured society's economic development, consolidated political structures, and favored vibrant cultural activity thanks also to contact with the East. The benefits of the vast movement known as the Gregorian Reform were felt in the Church, which led to "a greater evangelical purity in the Church, above all in the clergy" and an expansion of religious life. As fruits of this development, figures such as St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure would appear in the thirteen century.

  Benedict XVI affirmed that in this context two different models of theology arose: that of "monastic theology" and that of "scholastic theology". Regarding the first, the monks "were devoted to the Sacred Scriptures and one of their main activities consisted in lectio divina, that is, a meditative reading of the Bible". It was precisely the 2008 Synod of Bishops on "the Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church" that recalled the importance of this aspect.

  "As monastic theology is listening to the Word of God", he said, "it is necessary to purify one's heart to welcome it and, above all, one must be full of fervor to encounter the Lord. Theology therefore becomes meditation, prayer, a song of praise, and the impetus for sincere conversion".

  The Holy Father emphasized that "it is important to reserve a certain time each day for meditation on the Bible so that the Word of God will be the lamp that illuminates our daily path on earth".

  Continuously referring to the method of "scholastic theology", the Pope pointed out that "it is not easy for modern mentality to understand. The quaestio, which consisted of a theme for discussion," was essential to its process.

  "The organization of the quaestiones led to the compilation of evermore extensive syntheses, the so-called summae that were vast dogmatic-theological treatises. Scholastic theology sought to present the unity and harmony of Christian Revelation with a method, called precisely 'scholastic', that grants faith in human reason".

  Benedict XVI concluded by emphasizing that "faith and reason, in reciprocal dialogue, tremble with joy when they are both animated by the search for intimate union with God. … Truth is sought with humility, welcomed with wonder and gratitude: in a word, knowledge only grows if one loves the truth".
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VATICAN CITY, 28 OCT 2009 (VIS) - Benedict XVI will make a pastoral visit to the Italian towns of Brescia and Concesio next Sunday, 8 November, according to a communique of the Holy See Press Office.

  The Holy Father will take off from Ciampino Airport in Rome at 8:30 and will land an hour later at the Alfredo Fusco Military Airport in Ghedi (Brescia). He will then make a private visit to the parish church of Botticino Sera where he will venerate the mortal remains of St. Arcangelo Tadini.

  He will then visit the cathedral of Brescia and, at 10:30, concelebrate Holy Mass and pray the Angelus in Paul VI Square. In the afternoon he will meet with the organizers of the visit at the Paul VI Pastoral Center. At 16:45 he will go to the house in Concesio where Pope Paul VI was born and to the institute's new site dedicated to the Populorum Progressio pope.

  At 17:30, in the Vittorio Montini Auditorium of the Paul VI Institute in Concesio, he will give a speech during the official conference for the inauguration of the institute's new site and the presentation of the Pope Paul VI International Prize.

  At 18:15, the Pope will visit St. Anthony's Parish in Concesio where Giovanni Battista Montini (future Pope Paul VI) was baptized and will give an address.

  Benedict XVI will return at 19:00 from the Airport of Brescia and will land at Ciampino Airport one hour later where he will be then be taken back to the Vatican.
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VATICAN CITY, 28 OCT 2009 (VIS) - A presentation of the exhibit "To the Heights of History. Matteo Ricci (1552-1610): Between Rome and Peking" was held this morning in the Holy See Press Office. Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums and organizer of the exhibit, led the presentation.

  The exhibit, in the Charlemagne Wing of the colonnade in St. Peter's Square (30 October 2009-24 January 2010), was organized by the Committee for the Celebration of the Fourth Centenary of Fr. Matteo Ricci in collaboration with the Vatican Museums, the General Curia of the Company of Jesus, and the Pontifical Gregorian University.

  Speaking at the exhibit's presentation were Bishop Claudio Giuliodori of Macerata-Tolentino-Recanati-Cingoli-Treia (Italy); Antonio Paolucci, Director of the Vatican Museums; Giovanni Morello, President of the Foundation for the Heritage and Artistic Activities of the Church; Adriano Ciaffi, President of the Committee for the Celebrations of the Fourth Centenary of the Death of Fr. Ricci; and Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., Director of the Holy See's Press Office.

   Matteo Ricci's "extraordinary missionary adventure", Bishop Giuliodori explained, "led him to build, for the first time in history, a true bridge of dialogue and exchange between Europe and China. (…) Besides paying homage to this giant of the faith and friendship between peoples, the exhibit seeks to provide all with an opportunity to learn about and be inspired by a model of evangelization of the Gospel culture and inculturation that, in many aspects, has no equal in the history of humanity".


VATICAN CITY, 28 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

-Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck, former auxiliary bishop of Munster (Germany) as bishop of Essen (area 1,877, population 2,590,021, Catholics 909,117, priests 577, religious 555, permanent deacons 78) in Germany.

-Fr. Milton Kenan Junior, pastor of the parish of "Nossa Senhora Aparecida" and diocesan co-ordinator for pastoral care in Bebedouro, Brazil,  as auxiliary bishop of Sao Paulo (area 1,645, population 7,346,000, Catholics 5,363,000, priests 851, religious 2,802, permanent deacons 40) in Brazil. The bishop-elected was born in Taiuva (Brazil) in 1963 and ordained priest in 1987.

-Fr. Joseph M. Siegel, pastor of the parish of the Visitation in Elmhurst (USA), as auxiliary bishop of Joliet in Illinois (area 10,920, population 1,842,000, Catholics 667,000, priests 268, religious 718, permanent deacons 199) in the United States. The bishop-elected was born in Joliet (Illinois, USA) in 1963 and ordained priest in 1988.
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