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Tuesday, November 3, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 31 OCT 2009 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received the Letters of Credence of Nikola Ivanov Kaludov, the new ambassador of Bulgaria to the Holy See.

  At the beginning of his address the Pope told the ambassador, whose country joined the European Union in 2007, that "countries must not sacrifice their own cultural identity in the process of constructing Europe. Quite the opposite, they must find the means to produce good fruits that enrich the entire community. ... Bulgaria undoubtedly plays an important role in creating serene relations among neighbour States, and in the defence and promotion of human rights", he said.

  Speaking then of the concern expressed by the Bulgarian diplomat for the common good of peoples, Benedict XVI said "this cannot be limited to the frontiers of the European continent; rather, it is necessary to create the conditions for an appropriate form of globalisation".

  Recalling then his recent Encyclical "Caritas in veritate", the Holy Father pointed out that "it is vital for development not to be limited exclusively to economic domination, but that it take account of the integrity of the human person. Human beings must be measured not by what they possess, but by the extension of their being in accordance with the capacities of their nature. This principle finds its ultimate justification in the creative love of God, which fully reveals the Divine Word. In this context, in order for the development of mankind and society to be authentic, it must necessarily have a spiritual dimension".

  Benedict XVI drew attention to the fact that "the Christian culture which profoundly impregnates" the Bulgarian people "is not just a treasure of the past to be conserved, but testimony to a truly promising future which protects human beings from the temptations that always threaten to make them forget their own greatness, the unity of the human race and the requirement for solidarity that such unity implies".

  Dialogue with the many religious communities present in Bulgaria, in order "to be sincere and constructive", said the Pope, "requires mutual understanding and respect. For its part the Catholic community", he concluded, "wishes to open generously to everyone and to work with everyone. This finds concrete expression in its social work which it does not wish to reserve exclusively for the benefit of its own members".


VATICAN CITY, 31 OCT 2009 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. today released the following English-language declaration concerning speculations about the celibacy issue in the forthcoming Apostolic Constitution regarding personal ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church.

  There has been widespread speculation, based on supposedly knowledgeable remarks by an Italian correspondent Andrea Tornielli, that the delay in publication of the Apostolic Constitution regarding Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church, announced on 20 October 2009 by Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is due to more than 'technical' reasons. According to this speculation, there is a serious substantial issue at the basis of the delay, namely, disagreement about whether celibacy will be the norm for the future clergy of the provision.

  Cardinal Levada offered the following comments on this speculation: "Had I been asked I would happily have clarified any doubt about my remarks at the press conference. There is no substance to such speculation. No one at the Vatican has mentioned any such issue to me. The delay is purely technical in the sense of ensuring consistency in canonical language and references. The translation issues are secondary; the decision to delay publication in order to wait for the 'official' Latin text to be published in 'Acta Apostolicae Sedis' was made some time ago.

  "The drafts prepared by the working group, and submitted for study and approval through the usual process followed by the Congregation, have all included the following statement, currently Article VI of the Constitution:

  "1. Those who ministered as Anglican deacons, priests, or bishops, and who fulfil the requisites established by canon law and are not impeded by irregularities or other impediments may be accepted by the Ordinary as candidates for Holy Orders in the Catholic Church. In the case of married ministers, the norms established in the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI 'Sacerdotalis coelibatus', n. 42 and in the Statement "In June" are to be observed. Unmarried ministers must submit to the norm of clerical celibacy of canon 277, para 1 of the Code of Canon Law.

  "2. The Ordinary, in full observance of the discipline of celibate clergy in the Latin Church, as a rule ('pro regula') will admit only celibate men to the order of presbyter. He may also petition the Roman Pontiff, as a derogation from canon 277, para 1, for the admission of married men to the order of presbyter on a case by case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See.

  "This article is to be understood as consistent with the current practice of the Church, in which married former Anglican ministers may be admitted to priestly ministry in the Catholic Church on a case by case basis. With regard to future seminarians, it was considered purely speculative whether there might be some cases in which a dispensation from the celibacy rule might be petitioned. For this reason, objective criteria about any such possibilities (e.g. married seminarians already in preparation) are to be developed jointly by the Personal Ordinariate and the Episcopal Conference, and submitted for approval of the Holy See".

  Cardinal Levada said he anticipates the technical work on the Constitution and Norms will be completed by the end of the first week of November.


VATICAN CITY, 31 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 - Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

 - Cardinal Agostino Vallini, His Holiness' vicar general for the diocese of Rome.

 - His Royal Highness the Prince of Hohenzollern, accompanied by his family.
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VATICAN CITY, 31 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of San Juan de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, presented by Bishop Hector Manuel Rivera Perez, upon having reached the age limit.
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VATICAN CITY, 1 NOV 2009 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus today, Solemnity of All Saints, Benedict XVI recalled that this feast "invites the pilgrim Church on earth to enjoy a foretaste of the endless feast of the heavenly community, and to revive hope in eternal life".

  Addressing the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father pointed out that "this year marks fourteen centuries since the Pantheon - one of the most ancient and famous of Roman monuments - was consecrated for Christian worship and dedicated to the Virgin Mary and all Martyrs. ... Subsequently the celebration of all martyrs was extended to all saints".

  "In this Year for Priests", he went on, "I particularly wish to recall and venerate priest saints, both those the Church has canonised proposing them as an examples of spiritual and pastoral values, and those - far more numerous - whose saintliness is known to the Lord".

  Referring then to tomorrow's commemoration of All Souls Day, the Pope invited people "to live this moment in an authentic Christian spirit; in other words, in the light that comes from the Paschal mystery. Christ died and rose again, opening our way to the house of the Father, the Kingdom of life and peace.

  "Thus, as we visit cemeteries, let us remember that only the mortal remains of our loved ones lie there in the tombs awaiting the final resurrection. Their souls - as Scripture says - are already 'in the hands of God'. And so the most appropriate and effective way to honour them is to pray for them, offering acts of faith, hope and charity".

  The Pope also spoke of the communion of the saints, explaining that it "is a reality that gives a different dimension to all of our life. We are not alone! We are part of a spiritual 'company' in which profound solidarity reigns. The good of each individual brings advantage to everyone and, vice versa, shared happiness irradiates upon individuals. This is a mystery which, in some way, we can already experience in this world, in the family, in friendship, and especially in the spiritual community of the Church".

  After praying the Angelus Benedict XVI recalled that ten years ago, on 31 October 1999, the World Lutheran Federation and the Catholic Church signed their Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. Something John Paul II described as "a milestone on the not easy path of recomposing full unity among Christians".

  That document, to which the World Methodist Council adhered in 2006, enshrines "an agreement between Lutherans and Catholics on fundamental truths of the doctrine of justification, truths that lead to the very heart of the Gospel and to the essential questions of our lives. God listens to and redeems us; our lives are inscribed within the horizon of grace, they are guided by a merciful God Who forgives our sin and calls us to a new life, following His Son. We live in the grace of God and are called to respond to His gift; all this frees us from fear and gives us hope and courage in a world full of uncertainty, disquiet and suffering".

  "My heartfelt hope is that this anniversary may help us to advance along the path towards the full and visible unity of all Christ's disciples", said the Pope.

  Finally, the Holy Father greeted pilgrims in various languages, inviting them "to follow joyfully in Christ's footsteps, moulding yourselves to His image and being obedient in all to the will of the Father. Do not be afraid to be saints! It is the best service you can offer to your brothers and sisters".
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VATICAN CITY, 2 NOV 2009 (VIS) - This afternoon, as is traditional on All Souls Day, the Holy Father went down to the Vatican Grottoes to pray privately for the Popes buried there, and for all the deceased.
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VATICAN CITY, 3 NOV 2009 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office the Sixth World Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees was presented. The event - due to be held in the Vatican from 9 to 12 November - has as its theme: "A pastoral response to the phenomenon of migration in the era of globalisation. Five years after the Instruction 'Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi'".

  The press conference was attended by Archbishops Antonio Maria Veglio and Agostino Marchetto, respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, and by Msgr. Novatus Rugambwa, under secretary of the same dicastery.

  "Globalisation", said Archbishop Veglio, "has created a new labour market and, consequently, forced many to emigrate, also in order to flee from poverty, misery, natural catastrophes and local and international conflicts, as well as from political or religious persecution. This has opened markets to international intervention, but it has not torn down the walls of national boundaries to allow the free circulation of people, even with due respect for the sovereignty of States and their constitutional charters, safeguarding legality and security".

  "Specific pastoral care in relation to migrants is summarised in the value of welcome. This must be shown to people of various nationalities, ethnicity and religion and helps to make the authentic face of the Church visible. For such a pastoral care to be effective, co-operation between the migrants' Churches of origin, transit and arrival is fundamental".

  "The present globalised world", he concluded, "calls the Church to face, day by day, the causes of migration and the consequences it has in the lives of migrants and local people. The Church is close to migrants, especially to the victims of human trafficking, to refugees, to asylum seekers, and to the people who undergo the drama of human mobility. She is called to defend their cause in various contexts, also through collaboration in promoting adequate laws, at the local and international levels, that favour proper integration".

  For his part, Archbishop Marchetto outlined the programme of the forthcoming congress, which will begin at 8 a.m. on 9 November with Mass in the Vatican Basilica presided by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. During the opening session the participants will be received in audience by the Holy Father, while the afternoon of the first day will be dedicated to the theme of population movements, both as cause and effect of globalisation.

  The morning of 10 November will be devoted to the question of youth pastoral care among migrants and refugees, and co-operation with Churches of origin and arrival. The afternoon of 10 November and the morning of 11 November will be dedicated to the subject of dialogue and collaboration as they relate to the theme of the congress.

  Also on 11 November attention will turn to the questions of the "needs and challenges of ecumenical and inter-religious co-operation in the current situation of migrants and refugees (experience of the ecclesial movements)", and "co-operation between the Church and civil institutions for the wellbeing of migrants and refugees". The afternoon of the same day will see a round table discussion on "the pastoral care of migrants and refugees in prison and in detention camps". The day will conclude with the Festival of Peoples.

  The congress will come to a close on 12 November with the presentation of the final document.

  Msgr. Rugambwa's remarks focused on the participants in the congress who will number 320 and include members and consultors of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, delegates from episcopal commissions on all continents, members of religious congregations and institutes, ecclesial associations and movements. Four fraternal delegates are also due to participate, from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Anglican Communion, the World Council of Churches, and the World Lutheran Federation.

  Msgr. Rugambwa also announced that the congress will be attended by the director general of the International Organisation for Migration, and by representatives from the UN High Commission for Refugees and from the International Labour Office. Delegates from international Catholic organisations such as Caritas Internationalis have also been invited to attend.
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