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Tuesday, December 1, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 1 DEC 2009 (VIS) - Early this morning Benedict XVI celebrated Mass in the Pauline Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, with members of the International Theological Commission.

  In his homily the Pope described the figure of the true theologian, who does not succumb to the temptation of using the measure of his own intelligence to fathom the mystery of God. In the study of Holy Scripture over the last two hundred years, he said, "there have been great specialists and ... masters of the faith who have penetrated into the details ... of the history of salvation. But they were unable to see the mystery in itself, the central nucleus: that Christ truly was the Son of God".

  Yet the history of the Church, the Holy Father went on, contains a long list of men and women who were capable of humility and of reaching the truth. Among these he mentioned St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Damian de Veuster, "little people who were also wise", models from which to draw inspiration because "they were touched in the depths of their heart".

  "Following His Resurrection the Lord touched the heart of Saul on the road to Damascus", the Pope concluded, "Saul, who was one of the wise who could not see. ... He became blind and thus truly came to see. The great man becomes a small man and so sees the ... wisdom of God, ... which is greater than all human wisdom".
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VATICAN CITY, 1 DEC 2009 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for December is: "That children may be respected and loved and never be the victims of exploitation in its various forms".

  His mission intention is: "That at Christmas the peoples of the earth may recognise in the Word Incarnate the light which illuminates every man, and that the nations may open their doors to Christ, the Saviour of the world".
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VATICAN CITY, 1 DEC 2009 (VIS) - A communique concerning the fourteenth meeting of the Special Assembly for America of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops was published yesterday afternoon. The meeting took place on 17 and 18 November this year, while the Synod for America was held in the Vatican in 1997.

  The meeting - presided by Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops - was attended by four cardinals and six archbishops and bishops. They examined the ecclesial and social situation on the American continent, and the inculturation of the Good News there.

  The communique explains that "the process of inculturation depends to a large extent on a balanced education in the faith. This task particularly falls to families, schools and Catholic universities and, especially urgently today, to the media which, if used correctly and competently, are a vehicle of extraordinary pastoral effectiveness".

  The cardinals and bishops likewise express their concern over "drug trafficking, the recycling of illicit profits, corruption, violence, the arms race, racial discrimination, foreign debt, inequality between social groups and the thoughtless destruction of nature".

  On the subject of corruption, the communique explains that "the Church supports the efforts being made by the civil authorities to defeat it, or at least limit its extent. For her part, the Church is ready to make an effective contribution to eradicate this evil from civil society through the education of the faithful and through a greater presence of qualified lay Christians who - by virtue of their family, school and parish education - promote the practice of such values as truth, honesty, hard work and the service of the common good".

  Another subject of concern is "the ease with which arms are able to circulate". In this context the communique calls for the particular Churches in America "to raise a prophetic voice denouncing rearmament and the scandalous trade in the materials of war, which absorb huge sums of money that should, in fact, be used for combating poverty and promoting development".

  The communique also mentions migration, "which particularly affects many people and families from Latin American States, who have moved to the northern regions of the continent".

  "One promising initiative is the great continental mission, currently underway in the countries of Latin America with the aim of promoting new evangelisation. Other signs of hope include the Church's pastoral initiatives, her human promotion, and her solidarity with the poor and the marginalised".

  "On the basis of the Gospel, it is necessary to promote a culture of solidarity that stimulates appropriate initiatives in support of the poor and marginalised, especially refugees", say the prelates in their communique.

  The text concludes by announcing that the fifteenth meeting of the Special Assembly for America of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops will be held on 16 and 17 November 2010.

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