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Friday, April 30, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - Yesterday evening in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall Benedict XVI attended a concert marking the fifth anniversary of his pontificate offered by Giorgio Napolitano, president of the Italian Republic. The concert, played by the Italian Youth Orchestra which is part of the Fiesole School of Music, included pieces by Giovanni Battista Sammartini, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven.

  "The study of music", said the Pope at the end of the concert, "has great value in the process of educating the person, in that it has positive effects on the development of individuals, favouring their harmonious human and spiritual growth".

  Praising the many years of experience of the Fiesole School of Music, he then observed how, "in the current social context, all educational efforts seem more arduous and problematic. Parents and teachers often speak of the difficulties they encounter in imparting the basic values of life and correct behaviour to new generations. This problematic situation affects both the school and the family, as well as the various agencies that operate in the field of education".

  "Young people, though they live in different environments, share a sensibility towards the great ideals of life but face many difficulties when they seek to put them into practice", said the Holy Father. "We cannot ignore their needs and expectations, or the obstacles and threats they encounter. They feel drawn to authentic values such as the centrality of the person, human dignity, peace and justice, tolerance and solidarity. They also seek, sometimes in confused and contradictory ways, spirituality and transcendence in order to find balance and harmony.

  "In this context", he added, "I am happy to observe that it is music that can open minds and hearts to the spiritual dimension and lead people to raise their eyes to heaven, to open themselves to absolute Goodness and Beauty which have their ultimate source in God. Likewise, the festive nature of song and music are a constant invitation for believers, and for all men and women of good will, to work so that humankind has a future rich in hope. Furthermore, ... the undertaking not 'to play alone', but to ensure that the various 'colours' of the orchestra - each maintaining its own characteristics - fuse together; the shared search for the best expression; all this is an excellent exercise, not only artistically and professionally, but also in overall human terms".

  The Pope concluded his remarks by reiterating his thanks to the president of the Italian Republic for the concert, and asking everyone to pray that, "beginning the sixth year of my pontificate, I may always carry out my ministry as the Lord would wish".
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VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received participants in the sixteenth plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, which is meeting between 30 April and 4 May to discuss the world economic crisis in the light of the ethical principles enshrined in the Church's social doctrine.

  "The worldwide financial breakdown has", said the Holy Father addressing the group in English, "demonstrated the fragility of the present economic system and the institutions linked to it".

  He continued: "Rather than a spiral of production and consumption in view of narrowly-defined human needs, economic life should properly be seen as an exercise of human responsibility, intrinsically oriented towards the promotion of the dignity of the person, the pursuit of the common good and the integral development - political, cultural and spiritual - of individuals, families and societies".

  "In my Encyclical 'Caritas in veritate', I observed that 'the current crisis obliges us to re-plan our journey, to set ourselves new rules and to discover new forms of commitment'".

  The Pope explained how "the Church, based on her faith in God the Creator, affirms the existence of a universal natural law. ... As part of the great heritage of human wisdom, the natural moral law, which the Church has appropriated, purified and developed in the light of Christian revelation, serves as a beacon guiding the efforts of individuals and communities to pursue good and to avoid evil, while directing their commitment to building an authentically just and humane society".

  "Among the indispensable principles shaping such an integral ethical approach to economic life must be the promotion of the common good, grounded in respect for the dignity of the human person and acknowledged as the primary goal of production and trade systems, political institutions and social welfare. In our day, concern for the common good has taken on a more markedly global dimension. It has also become increasingly evident that the common good embraces responsibility towards future generations; intergenerational solidarity must henceforth be recognised as a basic ethical criterion for judging any social system.

  "These realities point to the urgency of strengthening the governance procedures of the global economy, albeit with due respect for the principle of subsidiarity", added the Holy Father. "In the end, however, all economic decisions and policies must be directed towards 'charity in truth'".

  This, Benedict XVI concluded, is because "without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation".
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VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today met with the five visitators of the Legion of Christ: Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. of Denver, U.S.A.; Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello S.D.B. of Concepcion, Chile; Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Valladolid, Spain; Bishop Ricardo Watty Urquidi M.Sp.S. of Tepic, Mexico, and Bishop Giuseppe Versaldi of Alessandria, Italy.
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VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolence to Fr. Notker Wolf, abbot primate of the Benedictine Confederation, for the death today at the age of 98 of Cardinal Paul Augustin Mayer O.S.B., president emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

  The late cardinal, writes the Pope, "leaves the indelible memory of an industrious life spent with mildness and rectitude in coherent adherence to his vocation as a monk and pastor, full of zeal for the Gospel and always faithful to the Church. While recalling his knowledgeable commitment in the field of the liturgy and in that of universities and seminaries, and especially his much appreciated service to the Holy See, first in the preparatory commission for Vatican Council II then in various dicasteries of the Roman Curia, I raise fervent prayers that the Lord may welcome this worthy brother into eternal joy and peace".
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VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for May is: "That the shameful and monstrous commerce in human beings, which sadly involves millions of women and children, may be ended".

  His mission intention is: "That ordained ministers, religious women and men, and lay people involved in apostolic work may understand how to infuse missionary enthusiasm into the communities entrusted to their care".
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VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia.
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VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Archbishop Peter Smith of Cardiff, Wales, as metropolitan archbishop of Southwark (area 3,000, population 440,000, Catholics 395,182, priests 439, permanent deacons 79, religious 792), England.

 - Appointed Fr. Odilon Martinez Garcia of the clergy of the diocese of Toluca, Mexico, rector of the major diocesan seminary, as bishop of Atlacomulco (area 5,364, population 934,328, Catholics 917,794, priests 103, permanent deacons 1, religious 113), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Santa Ana, Mexico in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1974.

 - Appointed Fr. Rogatus Kimaryo C.S.Sp., apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the diocese of Same, Tanzania, as bishop of the same diocese (area 10,000, population 609,000, Catholics 71,722, priests 52, religious 53). The bishop-elect was born in Mkuu, Tanzania in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1987.

 - Accepted the resignation from the apostolic vicariate of Kontagora, Nigeria, presented by Bishop Timothy Joseph Carroll S.M.A., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
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Thursday, April 29, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 29 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Pope had lunch yesterday in the Vatican's Casina Pio IV with members and consultors of "Vox Clara", an advisory committee for questions concerning the celebration of the Roman Rite in English.

  Following the luncheon the Holy Father, himself speaking English, thanked "Vox Clara" for the work it has done "over the last eight years, assisting and advising the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in fulfilling its responsibilities with regard to the English translations of liturgical texts. This has been a truly collegial enterprise. Not only are all five continents represented in the membership of the committee, but you have been assiduous in drawing together contributions from bishops' conferences in English-speaking territories all over the world".

  "I thank the superiors and officials of the congregation for their daily, painstaking work of overseeing the preparation and translation of texts that proclaim the truth of our redemption in Christ, the Incarnate Word of God", he said.

  Benedict XVI went on: "I welcome the news that the English translation of the Roman Missal will soon be ready for publication. ... Through these sacred texts and the actions that accompany them, Christ will be made present and active in the midst of His people".

  Going on then to identify a new task, that of "preparing for the reception of the new translation by clergy and lay faithful", the Pope pointed out that "many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly forty years of continuous use of the previous translation. The change will need to be introduced with due sensitivity, and the opportunity for catechesis that it presents will need to be firmly grasped. I pray that in this way any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted, and the change will serve instead as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world".

  "Soon the fruits of your labours will be made available to English-speaking congregations everywhere", the Holy Father concluded.
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VATICAN CITY, 29 APR 2010 (VIS) - Jean-Pierre Hamuli Mupenda, the new ambassador of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, today presented his Letters of Credence to Benedict XVI, reaffirming his country's desire to strengthen its ties with the Holy See. In his own address to the diplomat, the Pope spoke of his satisfaction at the move, which coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of Congo's independence, and expressed the hope that this commemoration may represent a "new starting point".

  "Over recent years your country has gone through particularly difficult and tragic moments", said the Holy Father. "Blind and pitiless violence has afflicted a large part of the population, ... especially women, young people and children, whose dignity has been constantly flouted by the violation of their rights. ... The Catholic Church, herself wounded in many of her members and structures, wishes to favour interior healing and fraternity".

  "The 2008 Goma agreement and international accords, especially the 'Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region', are necessary, but it is even more vital to lay the foundation for their implementation. Little by little, the badly-frayed fabric of society must be mended, helping the first natural form of society, which is the family, and consolidating interpersonal relations among Congolese people on the foundation of integral education, which is a source of peace and justice".

  "I invite the public authorities to do everything in their power to end the state of war which, unfortunately, still persists in certain areas of the country, and to dedicate themselves to the social reconstruction of the nation, while respecting fundamental human rights. Peace is not just the absence of conflict, it is also a gift and a task that involves obligations for both citizens and the State".

  The Pope also called upon the international community, "involved in various degrees in the successive conflicts that have afflicted the Congo, to mobilise and make an effective contribution to reinstating peace and legality".

  "After so much suffering, your country needs to start resolutely down the path of national reconciliation", the Holy Father told the ambassador. "Your bishops have declared this anniversary year as a year of grace, renewal and joy, a year of reconciliation to rebuild a Congo of solidarity, prosperity and unity".

  "One of the best ways to achieve this objective is by promoting the education of the young", said Pope Benedict. "The Congolese want their children to have a good education, but the immediate costs have to be met by families and this is a heavy, sometimes impossible, burden". Expressing his trust that a solution will be found to this question, he stressed the fact that "if the State helps parents by guaranteeing the regular payment of teachers, it will be making an investment useful for everyone".

  "It is essential that children and young people be educated with patience and constancy, especially those who were deprived of schooling and taught how to kill. They must be inculcated, not only with knowledge that will be useful in adult life, but also with solid moral and spiritual bases that will help them to reject the temptation to violence and resentment, and to chose justice and truth instead. Within the limits of her powers the Church can, through her educational structures, contribute to and augment the structures of the State".

  "The great natural wealth that God gave your land and that has, alas, become a source of greed and unbridled profit for many people inside and outside your country, would easily enable ... the people to emerge from poverty and provide for their food and health security. ... This requirement of justice, promoted by the State, would consolidate national reconciliation and peace, and enable the population to live a peaceful life, which is a necessary condition for their prosperity".

  Benedict XVI concluded his remarks by calling on Congolese Catholics to be "generous witnesses of God's love, and to contribute to the construction of a united and fraternal country in which everyone can feel that they are fully loved and respected".
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VATICAN CITY, 29 APR 2010 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received prelates from Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

  Speaking English the Pope referred to the bishops' five-yearly reports, telling them of his pleasure at their efforts "to preach the Gospel at confirmations, in your visits to parishes, when meeting with groups of priests, religious or lay people and in your pastoral letters".

  "Strive to build", he went on, "vibrant and expansive communities of men and women strong in their faith, contemplative and joyful in the liturgy, and well instructed on 'how to live in the way that pleases God'. In an environment marked by divorce and polygamy, promote the unity and well-being of the Christian family built on the Sacrament of Marriage. Initiatives and associations dedicated to the sanctification of this basic community deserve your full support. Continue to uphold the dignity of women in the context of human rights and defend your people against attempts to introduce an anti-birth mentality disguised as a form of cultural progress.

  "Your mission also requires that you give attention to the adequate discernment and preparation of vocations and to the ongoing formation of priests, who are your closest collaborators in the task of evangelisation", he added. "Continue to lead them by word and example to be men of prayer, sound and clear in their teaching, mature and respectful in their dealings with others, faithful to their spiritual commitments and strong in compassion towards all in need. Likewise do not hesitate to invite missionaries from other countries to assist the good work being done by your clergy, religious and catechists".

  The Holy Father went on: "I appreciate in a special way the assistance you offer to refugees and immigrants and I urge you to seek, when possible, pastoral co-operation from their countries of origin. The struggle against poverty must be carried out with respect for the dignity of all concerned by encouraging them to be the protagonists of their own integral development. Much good can be done through small-scale community engagements and microeconomic initiatives at the service of families. In developing and sustaining such strategies, improved education will always be a decisive factor".

  "You rightly encourage people in positions of authority to lead in the struggle against corruption by calling attention to the gravity and injustice of such sins. In this regard, the spiritual and moral formation of lay men and women for leadership, through specialised courses in Catholic Social Doctrine, is an important contribution to the common good".

  Benedict XVI commended the bishops "for your attention to the great gift which is peace. I pray that the process of reconciliation in justice and truth, which you have rightly supported in the region, may produce lasting respect for all God-given human rights and defuse tendencies to retaliation and vengeance.

  "In your service to peace continue to promote dialogue with other religions, especially with Islam, so as to sustain the existing good relations and forestall any form of intolerance, injustice or oppression, detrimental to the promotion of mutual trust. Working together in the defence of life and in the struggle against disease and malnutrition will not fail to build understanding, respect and acceptance. Above all, a climate of dialogue and communion must characterise the local Church. By your own example", the Pope concluded, "lead your priests, religious and lay faithful to grow in understanding and cooperation, in listening to one another and in sharing initiatives".
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VATICAN CITY, 29 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiberg im Breisgau, Germany, president of the German Bishops' Conference; Archbishop Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, and Bishop of Anton Losinger, auxiliary of Augsburg.
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VATICAN CITY, 29 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Benjamin Castillo Plascencia of Tabasco, Mexico, as bishop of Celaya (area 8,768, population 1,604,015, Catholics 1,463,583, priests 232, religious 66), Mexico.

 - Appointed Fr. John Baptist Jung Shin-chul, professor and chancellor of the Catholic University of Incheon, Korea, and diocesan director for vocations, as auxiliary of the diocese of Incheon (area 1,282, population 4,294,000, Catholics 427,960, priests 268, religious 906). The bishop-elect was born in Incheon-si in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1993.

 - Elevated the apostolic prefecture of Quetta (area 347,188, population 8,096,251, Catholics 29,355, priests 13, religious 19), Pakistan, to the rank of apostolic vicariate, with the same name and territorial configuration as before. He appointed Fr. Victor Gnanapragasam O.M.I., apostolic prefect of Quetta, as apostolic vicar of the new ecclesiastical circumscription, The bishop-elect was born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka in 1940 and ordained a priest in 1966.
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 28 APR 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis during this morning's general audience to two Italian priests: St. Leonardo Murialdo (1828-1900) and St. Giuseppe Benito Cottolengo (1786-1842), "exemplary in the commitment to God and witness of charity which, in the Church and for the Church, they showed towards their needy brothers and sisters".

  St. Leonardo Murialdo, having overcome a profound spiritual crisis in his youth, became a priest of St. John Bosco who appreciated him greatly. Thanks to Don Bosco, Fr. Murialdo "came into contact with the serious problems of the poorer classes, ... maturing a profound social, educational and apostolic sensibility which led him to dedicate himself independently to initiatives in favour of young people", the Pope explained.

  "In 1873 he founded the Congregation of St. Joseph, which from its beginnings had as its apostolic goal the formation of young people, especially the poor and abandoned". In this context the Holy Father highlighted how "the central nucleus of Leonardo Murialdo's spirituality was his certainty of the merciful love of God: a Father Who is always good, patient and generous, Who reveals the greatness and immensity of his mercy through forgiveness".

  St. Leonardo, "highlighting the greatness of the mission of priests, 'who must continue the work of redemption', ... always recalled, both to himself and his confreres, the responsibility of living a life coherent with the Sacrament received".

  "The same spirit of charity" marked the life and work of St. Giuseppe Benito Cottolengo, founder of the "Little House of Divine Providence". This saint, "from his childhood showed great sensibility towards the poor". Following years of fruitful priestly ministry, his meeting with a young sick woman, mother of five children, whom he assisted on her deathbed, changed the course of his life.

  "The Lord always places signs on our path, guiding us according to His will to what is truly good for us", said Benedict XVI. From that moment Giuseppe Cottolengo "used all his capacities ... to create initiatives in support of the most needy. He involved scores of collaborators and volunteers in his enterprise, ... so as to face and overcome difficulties together. Each person in that Little House of Divine Providence had a specific task. ... The healthy and the sick all shared the same daily burden. Even religious life was organised over time in accordance with particular needs and requirements".

  "For the poor and needy", Giuseppe Cottolengo always defined himself as "the labourer of Divine Providence", the Holy Father recalled.

  "These two priest saints", the Pope concluded, "lived their ministry by totally giving their lives to the poorest, the most needy, the last. The profound root, the eternal source of their activity was always their relationship with God, drawing from His love in the profound conviction that it is not possible to exercise charity save by living with Christ in the Church. May their intercession and example continue to illuminate the ministry of the many priests who give themselves generously for God and for the flock entrusted to them, and help everyone to give themselves joyfully and generously to God and to others".
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VATICAN CITY, 28 APR 2010 (VIS) - Among his remarks at the end of today's general audience, celebrated in St. Peter's Square, the Pope recalled how this Saturday 1 May marks the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, "guardian of the Holy Family and patron of all men who earn their living through their work.

  "May this day be an opportunity for deeper reflection on the meaning of work and its proper place in family life. I entrust those of you present here, and all workers, to the protection of St. Joseph".
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VATICAN CITY, 28 APR 2010 (VIS) - Made public today was a telegram sent by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., in the Pope's name, to Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, for the eighth European Congress on Migration, taking place in the Spanish city of Malaga from 27 April to 1 May.

  In the telegram the Holy Father greets organisers and participants in the meeting, which has as its theme "Overcoming Fears and Outlining Prospects". He encourages them to continue their efforts to ensure adequate pastoral care for people suffering the consequences of abandoning their own country, and find themselves without a land of reference.

  He likewise "exhorts them to co-ordinate initiatives and plans to ensure that the light of the Gospel reaches everyone and, with it, the firm hope to see recognition for their rights and a guarantee for their possibilities to live a life dignified in all aspects".
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VATICAN CITY, 28 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Launay Saturne of the clergy of the archdiocese of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, dean of studies at the major inter-diocesan seminary "Notre-Dame d'Haiti", as bishop of Jacmel (area 2,700, population 526,192, Catholics 342,716, priests 36, religious 53), Haiti. The bishop-elect was born in Delatte, Haiti in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1991.
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 27 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Vatican Publishing House has recently released a new edition of the Statistical Yearbook of the Church, comprising information on the main aspects of Catholic Church activity in various countries for the period 2000-2008.

  Over these nine years, the Catholic presence in the world has grown from 1,045 million in 2000 to 1,166 million in 2008, an increase of 11.54 percent. Considering the statistics in detail, numbers in Africa grew by 33 percent, in Europe they remained generally stable (an increase of 1.17 percent), while in Asia they increased by 15.61 percent, in Oceania by 11.39 percent and in America by 10.93 percent. As a percentage of the total population, European Catholics represented 26.8 percent in 2000 and 24.31 percent in 2008. In America and Oceania they have remained stable, and increased slightly in Asia.

  The number of bishops in the world went up from 4541 in 2000 to 5002 in 2008, an increase of 10.15 percent.

  The number of priests also increased slightly over this nine-year period, passing from 405,178 in 2000 to 409,166 in 2008, an overall rise of 0.98 percent. In Africa and Asia their numbers increased (respectively, by 33.1 percent and 23.8 percent), in the Americas they remained stable, while they fell by 7 percent in Europe and 4 percent in Oceania.

  The number of diocesan priests increased by 3.1 percent, going from 265,781 in 2000 to 274,007 in 2008. By contrast, the number of regular priests showed a constant decline, down by 3.04 percent to 135,159 in 2008. Of the continents, only Europe showed a clear reduction in priests: in 2000 they represented 51 percent of the world total, in 2008 just 47 percent. On the other hand, Asia and Africa together represented 17.5 percent of the world total in 2000 and 21.9 percent in 2008. The Americas slightly increased its percentage to around 30 percent of the total.

  Non-ordained religious numbered 55.057 in the year 2000 and 54,641 in 2008. Comparing this data by continent, Europe showed a strong decline (down by 16.57 percent), as did Oceania (22.06 percent), the Americas remained stable, while Asia and Africa grew (respectively, by 32 percent and 10.47 percent).

  Female religious are almost double the number of priests, and 14 times that of non-ordained male religious, but their numbers are falling, from 800,000 in 2000 to 740,000 in 2008. As for their geographical distribution, 41 percent reside in Europe, 27.47 percent in America, 21.77 percent in Asia and 1.28 percent in Oceania. The number of female religious has increased in the most dynamic continents: Africa (up by 21 percent) and Asia (up by 16 percent).

  The Statistical Yearbook of the Church also includes information on the number of students of philosophy and theology in diocesan and religious seminaries. In global terms, their numbers increased from 110.583 in 2000 to more than 117.024 in 2008. In Africa and Asia their numbers went up, whereas Europe saw a reduction.
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Monday, April 26, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 24 APR 2010 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received the Letters of Credence of Charles Ghislain, the new ambassador of Belgium to the Holy See.

  In his address, the Pope highlighted how "human life and dignity are a precious resource to be defended and promoted resolutely, especially on the basis of natural law". The Church "wishes to be a factor of harmonious coexistence among all peoples. To this end she makes here own active contribution, especially through her numerous educational institutions, her social activities and the commitment of many of her faithful to voluntary work. The Church is happy to serve all sectors of Belgian society".

  "Nonetheless", he continued, "it is worth pointing out that the Church, as an institution, has the right to express herself in public. ... She respects the right of everyone to think differently from herself, and would like to see her own right to expression respected. ... The Church, having the common good as her objective, wants nothing other than the freedom to be able to present this message, not imposing it on anyone, and respecting people's freedom of conscience".

  The Pope then made mention of the Belgian St. Damian de Veuster, highlighting how "religious roots nourished his education and formation, just as they nourished the teachers who awoke such admirable generosity in him. St. Damian shared his life with marginalised lepers, to the point of himself suffering the illness that afflicted them. With witnesses such as him, everyone can understand that the Gospel is a source of power they need not fear.

  "I am convinced", he added, "that despite recent social developments, your land remains rich in Christian soil. This can nurture the generous commitment of growing numbers of volunteers who, inspired by the evangelical principles of fraternity and solidarity, accompany people in difficulties".

  Referring then to the country's involvement in Europe, and to the fact that the Belgian Herman Van Rompuy was recently elected as first president of the European Council, the Pope noted how "the art of consensus cannot be reduced to purely dialectic abilities, rather it must seek truth and goodness". This, he explained quoting his own Encyclical "Caritas in veritate", is because "without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation, especially in a globalised society at difficult times like the present".

  In closing his remarks the Holy Father had words of greeting for the bishops of Belgium, especially Archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard "who with enthusiasm and generosity has recently begun a new mission as archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels". He also greeted priests, deacons and all the faithful who make up the Catholic community in Belgium. "I invite them to bear courageous witness to their faith", he concluded. "In their lives as citizens may they fully exercise their right to propose values that respect human nature, and that correspond to the most profound and authentic spiritual aspirations of the person".
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VATICAN CITY, 24 APR 2010 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father addressed participants in the congress: "Digital Witnesses. Faces and languages in the multi-media age". The congress was organised by the Italian Episcopal Conference, the president of which is Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa.

  "The time in which we are living is seeing an enormous expansion of the frontiers of communication", said the Pope. "The Internet is by nature open, tendentiously egalitarian and pluralist, but at the same time it also represents a new gulf. Indeed, we talk of the 'digital divide', which separates the included from the excluded, and this must be added to other separations which already divide nations, both from one another and within themselves".

  Benedict XVI also noted "the dangers of conformity and control, of intellectual and moral relativism, which are already evident in the diminution of the spirit of criticism, in the truth reduced to an interplay of opinions, in the many forms of degradation and humiliation of individual intimacy. We are witnessing a 'pollution of the spirit which clouds our faces and makes them less prone to smile'.

  "And yet", he added, "the aim of this congress is precisely to recognise faces, and therefore to overcome those collective dynamics that can lead us to lose a sense of the depths people have, to remain on the surface. When this happens those people become bodies without a soul, objects to be exchanged and consumed".

  "And how is it possible to return to people's faces today?" the Pope asked. In this context, quoting from his own Encyclical "Caritas in veritate", he explained how the media can have a civilising effect "not only when, thanks to technological development, they increase the possibilities of communicating information, but above all when they are geared towards a vision of the person and the common good that reflects truly universal values.

  "To achieve goals of this kind, they need to focus on promoting the dignity of persons and peoples, they need to be clearly inspired by charity and placed at the service of truth, of the good, and of natural and supernatural fraternity".

  "Only in these conditions can the epoch-making change we are experiencing be rich and fruitful in new opportunities. ... More than by our technical resources, necessary though they are, we wish to identify ourselves by inhabiting the [digital] universe with a believing heart which helps to give a soul to the endless flow of communications on the Internet".

  And the Holy Father concluded: "This is our mission, the indispensable mission of the Church. The task of all believers who work in the media is that of 'opening the door to new forms of encounter, maintaining the quality of human interaction, and showing concern for individuals and their genuine spiritual needs. They can thus help the men and women of our digital age to sense the Lord's presence'".
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VATICAN CITY, 25 APR 2010 (VIS) - At midday today, Good Shepherd Sunday and the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Regina Coeli with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  The Pope quoted the theme of this year's World Day, "witness awakens vocations", noting how it is "closely linked to the life and mission of priests and of consecrated persons.

  "The first form of witness that awakens vocations is prayer", he added, calling on parents to pray that "their children's hearts may open to listening to the Good Shepherd", because He alone "protects His flock with immense tenderness and defends it from evil, and in Him alone can the faithful place their absolute trust".

  The Holy Father continued: "On this day of special prayer for vocations, I particularly encourage ordained ministers, stimulated by the Year for Priests, to feel a commitment 'to interior renewal for the sake of a stronger and more incisive witness to the Gospel in today's world'; to remember that the priest 'continues the work of redemption on earth'; to pause 'frequently before the tabernacle'; to remain 'completely faithful to their vocation and mission through the practice of an austere asceticism': to make themselves available for listening and forgiveness; to undertake the Christian formation of the people entrusted to their care; and to cultivate 'priestly fraternity'".

  After praying the Regina Coeli, Benedict XVI turned his attention to two priests, Angelo Paoli and Jose Tous y Soler, today proclaimed as Blesseds in, respectively, Rome and Barcelona, Spain. The former was an "apostle of charity in Rome, nicknamed the 'father of the poor'. He dedicated himself particularly to sick and convalescent people in the hospital of San Giovanni".

  Jose Tous y Soler, founder of the Institute of the Capuchin sisters of the Mother of the Divine Shepherd, despite numerous trials and difficulties, never allowed himself to be overcome with bitterness or resentment. He stood out for his exquisite charity and his capacity to bear and understand the shortcomings of others", said the Pope.

  Finally, he addressed a special greeting to the Italian association "Meter" which "for fourteen years has been promoting a national Day for child victims of violence, exploitation and indifference. On this occasion I particularly want to thank and encourage those who dedicate themselves to prevention and education, especially parents and teachers, and the many priests, nuns, catechists and animators who work with children in parishes, schools and associations".
ANG/                                    VIS 20100426 (430)


VATICAN CITY, 24 APR 2010 (VIS) - In view of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, due to take place in the Vatican from 10 to 24 October on the theme "The Catholic Church in the Middle East: Communion and Witness. 'The whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul'", the Holy Father appointed:

 - His Beatitude Cardinal Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Lebanon, as president delegate "ad honorem".

 - His Beatitude Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Iraq, as president delegate "ad honorem".

 - Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, as president delegate.

 - His Beatitude Ignace Youssif III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians, Lebanon, as president delegate.

 - His Beatitude Antonios Naguib, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts, Egypt, as relator general.

 - Archbishop Joseph Soueif of Cyprus of the Maronites, as special secretary.
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VATICAN CITY, 24 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Fabio Fabene, official of the Congregation for Bishops, as bureau chief of the same congregation.
NA/                                    VIS 20100426 (30)


VATICAN CITY, 26 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Bishop Robert Patrick Ellison C.S.Sp. of Banjul, Gambia, on his "ad limina" visit.

 - Fr. Chris Brennan, S.M.A., apostolic administrator of Gbarnga, Liberia, on his "ad limina" visit.

 - Archbishop Edward Tamba Charles of Freetown and Bo, Sierra Leone, on his "ad limina" visit.

 - Bishop Patrick Daniel Koroma of Kenema, Sierra Leone, on his "ad limina" visit.

 - Bishop George Biguzzi S.X. of Makeni, Sierra Leone, on his "ad limina" visit.

  On Saturday 24 April he received in audience Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
AL:AP/                                VIS 20100426 (110)

Friday, April 23, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 23 APR 2010 (VIS) - With reference to the lawsuit against the Holy See which lawyers in the United States have filed at a federal court in Milwaukee, in the name of a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, the Holy See Press Office reiterates a declaration released by Jeffrey Lena, the Holy See's attorney in the U.S.A., the complete text of which is given below:

"First and foremost, sympathy is due to the victims of the criminal acts committed by Fr. Lawrence Murphy. By sexually abusing children, Murphy violated both the law and the trust that his victims had placed in him.

"While legitimate lawsuits have been filed by abuse victims, this is not one of them. Instead, the lawsuit represents an attempt to use tragic events as a platform for a broader attack - this one dependent on re-characterising the Catholic Church as a worldwide 'business enterprise'.

"The case against the Holy See and its officials is completely without merit. Most of the complaint rehashes old theories already rejected by U.S. courts. With regard to Murphy himself, the Holy See and its officials knew nothing of his crimes until decades after the abuse occurred, and had no role whatsoever in causing plaintiff's injuries.

"Given its lack of merit, the lawsuit - together with its de rigueur press conference and news releases - is simply the latest attempt by certain U.S. lawyers to use the judicial process as a tool of media relations.

"If necessary, we will respond more fully to this lawsuit in court and at the appropriate time".
OP/ VIS 20100423 (280)


VATICAN CITY, 23 APR 2010 (VIS) - Given below are the texts of two declarations, one by Bishop Roger Joseph Vangheluwe of Bruges, Belgium, concerning his resignation from office, and the other by Archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium. Both declarations were delivered during a press conference held at midday today in Brussels.

"When I was still just a priest, and for a certain period at the beginning of my episcopate, I sexually abused a minor from my immediate environment. The victim is still marked by what happened. Over the course of these decades I have repeatedly recognised my guilt towards him and his family, and I have asked forgiveness; but this did not pacify him, as it did not pacify me. The media storm of recent weeks has increased the trauma, and the situation is no longer tenable. I profoundly regret what I did and offer my most sincere apologies to the victim, to his family, to all the Catholic community and to society in general. I have presented my resignation as bishop of Bruges to Pope Benedict XVI. It was accepted on Friday and so I retire".

Declaration by Archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels.

"We are facing a particularly serious situation. Our thoughts go first and foremost to the victim and his family, some of whom have learned the shocking news only today. For the victim this has been a long Calvary, which has clearly not yet ended.

"As for Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, as a person he has the right to conversion, trusting in the mercy of God. However, as regards his function, it is vital that, out of respect for the victim and his family, and out of respect for the truth, he should resign from office. This is what he has done. The Pope immediately accepted the resignation of the bishop of Bruges, which is at this moment is being published in Rome.

"The Church thus underlines the importance of not procrastinating in such cases. We hope to contribute to the rehabilitation of the victim.

"The decision of the bishop of Bruges, and the calling of this press conference, express the transparency that the Catholic Church in Belgium rigorously wishes to apply in these matters, turning a new page with respect to the not-so-distant period in which the Church, and others, preferred the solution of silence or concealment.

"It goes without saying that this event will cause great suffering in the whole Catholic community of Belgium, especially because Bishop Vangheluwe was considered a generous and dynamic person, much appreciated in his diocese and in the Belgian Church. We, his confreres, are aware of the crisis of trust this will provoke in many people. Nonetheless, we dare to hope that wisdom will prevail and that the bishops, and especially the priests, of this country will not be unduly discredited as a group, because the vast majority live a lifestyle coherent with their vocation, with a faithfulness for which I here publicly express my thanks".
OP/ VIS 20100423 (510)


VATICAN CITY, 23 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

- Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

- Maria Voce, president of the "Focolari" Movement.

- Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
AP/ VIS 20100423 (70)


VATICAN CITY, 23 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Bruges, Belgium, presented by Bishop Roger Joseph Vangheluwe, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
RE/ VIS 20100423 (50)

Thursday, April 22, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 22 APR 2010 (VIS) - Gjoko Gjorgjevski, the new ambassador to the Holy See of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, today presented his Letters of Credence to the Holy Father.

  In his address to the diplomat, the Pope mentioned "the good relations" that exist between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Holy See, relations "characterised by cordial co-operation". He likewise expressed his pleasure "at the joint commitment shown recently in the construction of new places of Catholic workshop at a number of sites around the country".

  "Macedonians", the Holy Father went on, "show visible signs of those human and Christian values, incarnated in people's lives, which constitute the priceless spiritual and cultural heritage of the nation, one eloquent testimony of which are the stupendous religious monuments built at various times and in various places". The Pope also highlighted how the Holy See considers this heritage "with great respect and consideration, favouring ... historical study and research for a greater knowledge of the cultural and religious past".

  "Firm in their spiritual identity", the Macedonian people "will be able to offer European peoples the contribution of their own experience", said Benedict XVI. In this context, he expressed his hope for the success of the country's "growing efforts to become part of the united Europe, while accepting the relative rights and duties, and with reciprocal respect for the collective demands and traditional values of each people".

  The commitment of Macedonians to fomenting dialogue and co-existence among the various ethnic and religious groups that make up the country, said the Pope, "has favoured the creation of a climate in which people consider each another as brothers, children of the same God and citizens of one country.

  "First and foremost", he added, "it is certainly the task of leaders of institutions to identify ways to translate men and women's aspirations for dialogue and peace into political initiatives. Yet believers know that peace is not just the fruit of human plans and activities, but is above all a gift of God to men and women of good will. Justice and forgiveness represent the columns that hold up this peace. Justice ensures full respect for rights and duties, while forgiveness heals and reconstructs relations among people from their foundations, relations which are still experiencing the consequences of the ideological clashes of the recent past".

  The Holy Father continued his address: "Having overcome the tragedy of World War II, and following the sad experience of a totalitarianism that denied the fundamental rights of the human person, the Macedonian people are now on the road to harmonious progress. ... Stable social and economic development cannot but take account of people's cultural, social and spiritual requirements, just as it must make use of the most noble popular traditions and resources". He likewise noted that globalisation, "while on the one hand bringing a certain levelling of social and economic differences could, on the other, aggravate the imbalance between those who take advantage of the increasing possibilities to produce wealth and those who are left on the sidelines of progress".

  "My hope is that, in a general context of moral relativism and scant interest in religious experience affecting a part of European society", the Macedonian people "may exercise wise discernment in opening new horizons of authentic civility and true humanism.

  "To this end, we must seek to strengthen and maintain the principles that lie at the roots of this people's civilisation, at both the individual and community level", the Pope concluded. These principles include: "dedication to the family, defence of human life and the promotion of religious needs especially among the young. The Catholic Church in your nation", he told the ambassador, "though representing a minority, wishes to make her sincere contribution to building a more just and united society, founded on the Christian values that have enriched the minds of its inhabitants".
CD/                                    VIS 20100422 (660)


VATICAN CITY, 22 APR 2010 (VIS) - For the occasion of Benedict XVI's forthcoming apostolic trip to Portugal, due to take place from 11 to 14 May, statistics concerning the Catholic Church in that country have been published. The information, updated to 31 December 2008, comes from the Central Statistical Office of the Church.

  Portugal, the capital of which is Lisbon, has a population of 10,610,000 of whom 9,368,000 (88.3 percent) are Catholic. There are 21 ecclesiastical circumscriptions and 4,830 parishes. Currently there are 52 bishops, 3,797 priests, 6,007 religious, 594 lay members of secular institutes and 63,906 catechists. Minor seminarians number 279, and major seminarians 444.

  A total of 129,230 children and young people attend 900 centres of Catholic education, from kindergartens to universities. Other institutions belonging to the Church, or run by priests or religious in Portugal include 34 hospitals, 155 clinics, 799 homes for the elderly or disabled, 663 orphanages and nurseries, 55 family counselling centres and other pro-life centres, 462 centres for education and social rehabilitation, and 168 institutions of other kinds.
PV-PORTUGAL/                            VIS 20100422 (190)


VATICAN CITY, 22 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Franc Rode C.M., prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

 - Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

 - Frere Alois, prior of the community of Taize.
AP/                                    VIS 20100422 (60)


VATICAN CITY, 22 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin, Ireland, presented by Bishop James Moriarty, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

 - Appointed Bishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon of Da Lat, president of the Episcopal Conference of Vietnam as coadjutor archbishop of Hanoi (area 7,000, population 5,399,400, Catholics 334,788, priests 91, religious 322), Vietnam. The archbishop-elect was born in Da Lat in 1938, he was ordained a priest in 1967 and consecrated a bishop in 1991.
RE:REC/                                VIS 20100422 (110)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 21 APR 2010 (VIS) - In today's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square, the Pope recalled his apostolic trip to Malta, which took place last Saturday and Sunday for "the 1950th anniversary of the shipwreck of the Apostle Paul on the shores of the Maltese archipelago, and his nearly three-month stay on those islands".

  "For almost two thousand years, the history of that people has been inseparable from the Catholic faith, which characterises their culture and traditions. It is said that there are 365 churches in Malta, 'one for each day of the year', a visible symbol of this profound faith".

  The Pope recalled how in the Cave of St. Paul at Rabat, he had participated in "an intense moment of prayer", explaining that "from Paul's subsequent stay on Malta a fervent and solid Christian community was born, which two thousand years later is still faithful to the Gospel and seeks to associate it with the complex questions of the modern age. Naturally, this is not always easy or automatic, but the Maltese people find answers to the new challenges in the Christian view of life. One sign of this, for example, is the fact that they have maintained a profound respect for unborn life and for the sacredness of marriage, choosing not to introduce abortion or divorce into the country's legal system".

  Benedict XVI went on to recall how, following the celebration of the Eucharist in front of the church of St. Paul, at which the faithful "participated with great enthusiasm", he had "met a number of victims of abuse by members of the clergy. I shared their suffering and, greatly moved, prayed with them, giving them assurances of the Church's action", he said.

  "It must not be thought", the Pope went on, that Malta, "because of its geographical position, is a society 'isolated' from the world". In this context he mentioned the "contacts Malta maintains with various countries, and the fact that Maltese priests are to be found in many nations".

  "The strategic position of this small archipelago obviously attracted the attention of various political and military powers. Yet nonetheless, the most profound vocation of Malta is its Christian vocation; in other words, the universal vocation of peace. The famous Maltese cross ... has never lost its authentic and perennial significance; it is the sign of love and reconciliation, and this is the true vocation of peoples who welcome and embrace the Christian message".

  The Pope highlighted how Malta lies "at the centre of migration routes", something which "naturally brings problems; complex humanitarian, political and juridical problems, ... the solutions of which are not easy but must be sought with perseverance and tenacity, harmonising efforts at the international level. This should be done in all nations that have Christian values at the root of their Constitutional Charters and cultures".

  The final event of the Pope's apostolic trip was his meeting with youth in the port of Valletta. "I reminded the young people present", he said, "of St. Paul's own youthful experience: an extraordinary and unique experience, yet one capable of speaking to new generations from all ages because of that radical transformation which followed his meeting with the risen Christ. Thus I looked to the young people of Malta as potential heirs of St. Paul's spiritual adventure, called like him to discover the beauty of the love of God given us in Jesus Christ; to embrace the mystery of His Cross; to be victors in trials and tribulations; not to be afraid of the 'storms' of life, not even the shipwrecks, because God's plan of love is greater even than storm and shipwreck".

  Benedict XVI concluded by calling for "the intercession of the Apostle Paul, of St. Gorg Preca, priest and the first Maltese saint, and of the Virgin Mary, ... that the faithful of Malta and Gozo may always grow in peace and prosperity".
AG/                                    VIS 20100421 (660)


VATICAN CITY, 21 APR 2010 (VIS) - At the end of his catechesis in today's general audience the Holy Father addressed greetings to various groups, among them pastors and priests of the diocese of Rome, accompanied by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general for Rome, and auxiliary bishops, who have recently returned from a pilgrimage to Ars, France, for the current Year for Priests.

  "I thank you for your presence, a sign of affection and spiritual closeness", said the Pope. "I take this opportunity to express my respect and deep recognition to you and to priests who all over the world dedicate themselves with apostolic zeal to serving the people of God, thus bearing witness to Christ's charity. Following the example of St. John Mary Vianney, be patient and solicitous for the good of souls".

  Benedict XVI also recalled how this Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Easter, will mark the Day of Prayer for Vocations. In this context he called upon the sick "to offer your sufferings for the burgeoning of many and holy vocations".
AG/                                    VIS 20100421 (190)


VATICAN CITY, 21 APR 2010 (VIS) - His Beatitude Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, major archbishop of Kyiv-Halyc, Ukraine, having obtained the consent of the Synod of Bishops of the Greek-Catholic Ukrainian Church which met in Lviv from 29 November to 5 December 2009, and having informed the Apostolic See in accordance with canon 85 para. 2 and 4 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, promoted Bishop Jaroslav Pryriz C.SS.R. from the office of auxiliary of the eparchy of Sambir-Drohobych of the Ukrainians, to that of coadjutor of the same eparchy.
NEC/                                    VIS 20100421 (100)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 20 APR 2010 (VIS) - On Sunday 2 May the Holy Father will travel to the Italian city of Turin for the exposition of the Holy Shroud, which began on 10 April and is due to last until 23 May.

  The Pope will depart from Rome's Ciampino airport at 8.15 a.m. on that day, arriving in Turin an hour later. At 9.45 a.m. he will meet with the local population in the city's Pizza San Carlo where, at 10.15 a.m., he will concelebrate the Eucharist then pray the Regina Coeli.

  At 1.30 p.m. he will lunch with bishops of the Piedmont region in the archbishopric of Turin before returning to Piazza San Carlo at 4.30 p.m. for a meeting with young people. At 5.30 p.m. Benedict XVI will visit the cathedral of St. John where he will venerate the Holy Shroud and, an hour later, travel to the church of the Little House of Divine Providence - Cottolengo where he will meet with sick people.

  The Pope's return flight to Rome is due to leave at 7.30 p.m., arriving at Ciampino airport at 8.30 p.m. whence a helicopter will carry him back to the Vatican.
PV-TURIN/                                VIS 20100420 (210)


VATICAN CITY, 20 APR 2010 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI delivered the eulogy at the end of the funeral of Cardinal Tomas Spidlik S.J., who died on 16 April at the age of 90. The funeral Mass was celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals.

  "The will of Jesus coincides with the will of God the Father and, along with the action of the Holy Spirit, represents a kind of secure, strong and sweet 'embrace' of man, leading him to eternal life", said the Pope.

  "I believe that the great men of faith live immersed in this grace, that they have the gift of perceiving this truth particularly clearly, and that they can thus undergo harsh trials, just as Fr. Tomas Spidlik did, without losing their trust; rather, they retain a sense of humour, which is certainly a sign of intelligence but also of inner freedom".

  Benedict XVI went on: "In this context, there was an evident resemblance between the late cardinal and the Venerable John Paul II: both were wont to make jokes though having suffered difficult, and in some ways similar, personal circumstances in their youth. Providence led them to meet and work together for the good of the Church, with the particular aim that she might learn to breathe fully 'with both her lungs', as the Slavic Pope liked to say.

  "This free and ready spirit had its objective foundation in the Resurrection of Christ", the Holy Father added. "The hope and joy of the risen Jesus are also the hope and joy of His friends, thanks to the action of the Holy Spirit. Fr. Spidlik demonstrated this regularly in the way he lived, and his witness became ever more eloquent with the passing of the years because, despite his advanced age and inevitable health problems, his spirit remained fresh and youthful. What is this, if not friendship with the risen Lord?"

  In choosing "ex toto corde" (with all my heart) as his motto, the cardinal placed "his life within the commandment to love, inscribing his entire existence in the primacy of love and of charity". The words "phos" and "zoe" (light and life) on the cardinal's coat-of-arms "are names of God", the Pope explained. "Thus the man who fully 'ex toto corde' accepts the love of God, accepts light and life, and becomes in his turn light and life in humankind and in the universe".

  Benedict XVI concluded his eulogy by recalling Cardinal Spidlik's membership of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). "In other words", he said, "he was a spiritual son of St. Ignatius who placed the contemplation of God in the mystery of Christ at the centre of faith and spirituality. In this symbol of the heart, East and West come together, not in a devotional but in a profoundly Christological sense".
HML/                                    VIS 20100420 (490)


VATICAN CITY, 20 APR 2010 (VIS) - Following are highlights of the activities and trips due to be undertaken by Pope Benedict XVI between the months of May and September.


 - Sunday 2: Pastoral visit to Turin, Italy, for the exposition of the Holy Shroud.

 - Tuesday 11 to Friday 14: Apostolic trip to Portugal.

 - Sunday 23: Solemnity of Pentecost: Mass at 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica.


 - Thursday 3: Solemnity of Corpus Christi. Mass at 7.00 p.m. in the basilica of St. John Lateran, procession to the basilica of St. Mary Major and Eucharistic blessing.

 - Friday 4 to Sunday 6: Apostolic trip to Cyprus.

 - Thursday 10: Prayer vigil with priests at 6 p.m. in St. Peter's Square.

 - Friday 11: Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. At 10 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, Mass for the close of the Year for Priests.

 - Sunday 20: At 9 .30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, priestly ordination of deacons from the diocese of Rome.

 - Monday 28: First Vespers for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, at 6 p.m. in the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls.

 - Tuesday 29: Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles. Mass at 9.30 a.m. in St. Peter's Basilica and imposition of the pallium on new metropolitan archbishops.


 - Sunday 4: Pastoral visit to Sulmona, Italy, for the eighth centenary of the birth of Pope St. Celestine V.


 - Sunday 15: Solemnity of the Assumption. Mass at 8 a.m. in the parish church of St. Thomas of Villanova in Castelgandolfo.


 - Sunday 5: Pastoral visit to Carpineto Romano, Italy, for the second centenary of the birth of Pope Leo XIII.

 - Thursday 16 to Sunday 19: Apostolic trip to the United Kingdom.
OCL/                                    VIS 20100420 (310)


VATICAN CITY, 20 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Thomas G. Wenski of Orlando, U.S.A., as metropolitan archbishop of Miami (area 12,836, population 4,299,000, Catholics 860,000, priests 397, permanent deacons 119, religious 415), U.S.A. The archbishop-elect was born in West Palm Beach, U.S.A. in 1950, he was ordained a priest in 1976 and consecrated a bishop in 1997. He succeeds Archbishop John C. Favalora, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

 - Appointed Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Chicago, U.S.A., as bishop of Springfield in Illinois (area 39,195, population 1,176,000, Catholics 164,000, priests 157, permanent deacons 23, religious 661), U.S.A.
NER:RE/                                VIS 20100420 (140)

Monday, April 19, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 18 APR 2010 (VIS) - Today in the apostolic nunciature to Malta, following this morning's Mass at the Floriana Granaries, the Holy Father held a meeting with a small group of people who suffered sex abuse at the hands of the clergy.

  According to an English-language communique concerning the meeting, released by the Holy See Press Office, Benedict XVI "was deeply moved by their stories and expressed his shame and sorrow over what victims and their families have suffered. He prayed with them and assured them that the Church is doing, and will continue to do, all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future.

  "In the spirit of his recent Letter to the Catholics of Ireland, he prayed that all the victims of abuse would experience healing and reconciliation, enabling them to move forward with renewed hope".
PV-MALTA/                                VIS 20100419 (170)


VATICAN CITY, 18 APR 2010 (VIS) - After leaving the apostolic nunciature in Rabat, the Holy Father travelled fifteen kilometres by popemobile to the port of Kalkara. There he boarded a boat that took him the three nautical miles separating Kalkara from the port of Valetta. The Pope's craft, a catamaran, was followed by a flotilla of small boats of kinds typical to the Maltese islands.

  The Pope disembarked in Valetta, and went directly to a stage that had been erected in the port for his meeting with young Maltese, to whom he pronounced an address.

  "I appreciate your desire to seek and find the truth, and to know what you must do to attain the fullness of life", said the Pope, going on to recall how it was as a young man that St. Paul met with Jesus on the road to Damascus.

  "Every personal encounter with Jesus is an overwhelming experience of love", he said. "For the rest of his life, Paul had a burning desire to carry the news of that love to the ends of the earth".

  The Holy Father went on: "Maybe some of you will say to me, St. Paul is often severe in his writings. How can I say that he was spreading a message of love? My answer is this. God loves every one of us with a depth and intensity that we can hardly begin to imagine. And He knows us intimately, He knows all our strengths and all our faults. Because He loves us so much, He wants to purify us of our faults and build up our virtues so that we can have life in abundance. When He challenges us because something in our lives is displeasing to Him, He is not rejecting us, but He is asking us to change and become more perfect. That is what He asked of St. Paul on the road to Damascus. God rejects no-one. And the Church rejects no one. Yet in His great love, God challenges all of us to change and to become more perfect.

  "St. John tells us that perfect love casts out fear", the Holy Father added, and he called on the young people who wish to bring the Gospel to the world not to be afraid. "You may well encounter opposition to the Gospel message. Today's culture, like every culture, promotes ideas and values that are sometimes at variance with those lived and preached by our Lord Jesus Christ. Often they are presented with great persuasive power, reinforced by the media and by social pressure from groups hostile to the Christian faith.

  "It is easy, when we are young and impressionable, to be swayed by our peers to accept ideas and values that we know are not what the Lord truly wants for us. That is why I say to you: do not be afraid, but rejoice in His love for you; trust Him, answer His call to discipleship, and find nourishment and spiritual healing in the Sacraments of the Church".

  Pope Benedict continued: "Here in Malta, you live in a society that is steeped in Christian faith and values. You should be proud that your country both defends the unborn and promotes stable family life ... for a healthy society. ... In the context of European society, Gospel values are once again becoming counter-cultural, just as they were at the time of St. Paul".

  "As Christians", he concluded, "we are called to manifest God's all-inclusive love; ... we should have a special care for those who are in distress, ... we should be attentive to the needs of immigrants and asylum seekers in our midst; we should extend the hand of friendship to members of all faiths and none. That is the noble vocation of love and service that we have all received. Let it inspire you to dedicate your lives to following Christ".

  At the conclusion of the meeting, the Pope travelled to Luqa airport for his return flight to Rome.
PV-MALTA/                                VIS 20100419 (680)


VATICAN CITY, 18 APR 2010 (VIS) - Following his meeting with young people, Benedict XVI went to Luqa international airport, where the departure ceremony took place at the end of his visit to Malta, the fourteenth apostolic trip of his pontificate.

  Following a speech from George Abela, president of the Republic of Malta, the Holy Father pronounced his own address.

  "My journey", he said, "has given me a deeper appreciation of how the Gospel preached by St. Paul has shaped the spiritual identity of the Maltese people. As I leave you, let me encourage you once more to cultivate a deep awareness of your identity and to embrace the responsibilities that flow from it, especially by promoting the Gospel values that will grant you a clear vision of human dignity and the common origin and destiny of mankind.

  "On account of its geographical position in the heart of the Mediterranean", the Pope went on, "many immigrants arrive on Malta's shores, some fleeing from situations of violence and persecution, others in search of better conditions of life. I am aware of the difficulties that welcoming a large number of people may cause, difficulties which cannot be solved by any country of first arrival on its own. At the same time, I am also confident that, on the strength of its Christian roots and its long and proud history of welcoming strangers, Malta will endeavour, with the support of other States and international organisations, to come to the aid of those who arrive here and to ensure that their rights be respected".

  "Unity, solidarity and mutual respect stand at the basis of your social and political life. Inspired by your Catholic faith, they are the compass that will guide you in the search for authentic and integral development. The treasure of the Church's social teaching will inspire and guide these efforts. Never allow your true identity to be compromised by indifferentism or relativism. May you always remain faithful to the teaching of St. Paul".

  The departure ceremony concluded, Benedict XVI boarded his return flight to Rome, arriving at Rome's Ciampino airport at 9.40 p.m., whence he travelled by helicopter to the Vatican.
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VATICAN CITY, 19 APR 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI today celebrates the fifth anniversary of his election as Pope. On 19 April 2005 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, succeeding Pope John Paul II, became the 264th successor of St. Peter.

  The conclave that led to the election of Benedict XVI began on Monday 18 April 2005 in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, with the "extra omnes" pronounced at 5.25 p.m. by Archbishop Piero Marini, master of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, following the taking of the oath by the 115 cardinal electors. The first black smoke appeared at 8.04 p.m. on the same day. Black smoke again appeared at 11.52 a.m. on Tuesday 19 April, while the white smoke arose on Tuesday 19 April at 5.50 p.m.

  At 6.48 p.m., the Holy Father Benedict XVI, preceded by the Cross, appeared on the external loggia to greet the people and to impart the Apostolic Blessing "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and to the world).

  Prior to the blessing, the new Pontiff addressed the faithful with the following words:

  "Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the Lord Cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord. I am consoled by the fact that the Lord knows how to act, even with inadequate instruments and above all I entrust myself to your prayers. In the joy of the Risen Lord, trusting in His permanent help, as we go forward the Lord will help us, and His Mother, Mary Most Holy, is on our side Thank you."

  On 24 April 2005 in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI celebrated his first Mass as Pontiff in the presence of half a million people. One hundred and fifty cardinals concelebrated with the Pope.

  In his first homily, the Pope said: "One of the basic characteristics of a shepherd must be to love the people entrusted to him, even as he loves Christ Whom he serves. 'Feed my sheep', says Christ to Peter, and now, at this moment, He says it to me as well. Feeding means loving, and loving also means being ready to suffer. Loving means giving the sheep what is truly good, the nourishment of God's truth, of God's word, the nourishment of His presence, which He gives us in the Blessed Sacrament.

  " My dear friends, at this moment I can only say: pray for me, that I may learn to love the Lord more and more. Pray for me, that I may learn to love His flock more and more, in other words, you, the holy Church, each one of you and all of you together. Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves. Let us pray for one another, that the Lord will carry us and that we will learn to carry one another".

  In the five years of his pontificate, Benedict XVI has published three Encyclicals: "Deus caritas est" of 25 December 2005, "Spe salvi" of 27 November 2007, and "Caritas in veritate" of 30 June 2009; one Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist; the Apostolic Constitution "Anglicanorum coetibus"; nine "Motu Proprio"; the book "Jesus of Nazareth", and hundreds of addresses, homilies, letters and messages. He has made fourteen apostolic trips abroad and sixteen pastoral visits within Italy. Among the more important events of his pontificate were his visit to Auschwitz in 2006 and to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, also in 2006, his 2008 address before the United Nations, and his 2010 visit to the synagogue of Rome. He has called two Synods, the first in 2008 on the Word of God and the second on Africa in 2009. A third Synod, on the Middle East, is due to take place later this year.

  To mark today's occasion, the cardinals will offer a luncheon in the Pope's honour in the Sala Ducale of the Vatican Apostolic Palace.
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VATICAN CITY, 19 APR 2010 (VIS) - Cardinal Claudio Hummes O.F.M., prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, has written a letter to all the priests of the world for the end of the Year for Priests, which is due to conclude on 11 June, Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

  Extracts from the English-language version of the letter, dated 12 April, are given below.

  "The Year for Priests brings great joy to the Church and she thanks the Lord for having inspired the Holy Father to announce it".

  "It is true that, albeit proportionately small in number, some priests have committed horrible and most serious crimes of sexual abuse upon minors, deeds that we must condemn and rebuke in an absolute and uncompromising manner. Those individuals must answer for their actions before God and before tribunals, including the civil courts. Nevertheless, we also pray that they might achieve spiritual conversion and receive pardon from God. The Church, for her part, is determined neither to hide nor to minimise such crimes. Above all we are on the side of the victims and want to support their recovery and their offended rights.

  "On the other hand, it is absolutely unacceptable to use the crimes of the few in order to sully the entire ecclesial body of priests. Those who do so commit a profound injustice. In the course the Year for Priests, the Church seeks to say this to human society. Anyone possessed of common sense and good will knows it to be the truth".

  "Dear priests, ... the Church loves you, admires you and respects you. You are, moreover, a joy for Catholic people throughout the world who welcome you and support you, especially in these times of suffering".

  "The Pope, dear priests, invites you from the heart to come to Rome from every part of the world for the conclusion of the Year for Priests, on the 9, 10 and 11 June next. ... The Pope wants to confirm the priests of the Church. Their presence in large numbers in St. Peter's Square will be a proactive and responsible way for priests to show themselves ready and un-intimidated for the service of the humanity entrusted to them by Jesus Christ".

  "This means offering our beloved Pope Benedict XVI all our solidarity, support, trust, and unconditional communion, in the face of the frequent attacks currently being directed at him with regard to decisions he made concerning clerics involved in crimes of the sexual abuse of minors. The accusations directed at aim are clearly unjust, and it has been shown that no-one has done as much as Benedict XVI to condemn and combat such crimes. Thus, large numbers of priests in the square with him will be a strong signal of our rejection of the unjust attacks of which he is victim. Come, then, to show public support for the Holy Father.

  "The end of the Year for Priests will not be, properly speaking, a conclusion, but a new beginning. We, the People of God and its shepherds, want to thank the Lord for this privileged period of prayer and reflection on the priesthood. At the same time we want to be alert to what the Holy Spirit wants to say to us. Meanwhile we will return to the exercise of our mission in the Church and in the world with renewed joy and with the conviction that God, the Lord of history, remains with us, both in crises and in new times".
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Sunday, April 18, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 18 APR 2010 (VIS) - At 10 a.m. today the Pope celebrated Mass at the Floriana Granaries in Malta, the island's largest square which is used to host the most important civil and religious celebrations and can accommodate up to 10,000 people.

  In his homily the Holy Father encouraged the faithful to trust in God and follow His teachings in order to gather an abundant harvest.

  "Not everything that today's world proposes is worthy of acceptance by the people of Malta", he said. "Many voices try to persuade us to put aside our faith in God and His Church, and to choose for ourselves the values and beliefs by which to live. They tell us we have no need of God or the Church. If we are tempted to believe them, we should recall the incident in today's Gospel" of the miraculous catch of fish. "When Jesus appeared on the shore, He directed them to a catch so great that they could scarcely haul it in".

  Commenting on the first reading of today's Mass, recounting St. Paul's shipwreck on the shores of Malta "and his warm reception by the people of these islands", the Pope highlighted how the crew of the ship were forced to throw the cargo overboard, as the Apostle "urged them to place their trust in God alone while the ship was tossed to and fro upon the waves. We too", said Benedict XVI, "must place our trust in Him alone.

  "It is tempting to think that today's advanced technology can answer all our needs and save us from all the perils and dangers that beset us", he added. "But it is not so. At every moment of our lives we depend entirely on God, in Whom we live and move and have our being. Only He can protect us from harm, only He can guide us through the storms of life, only He can bring us to a safe haven, as He did for Paul and his companions adrift off the coast of Malta".

  "It is our relationship with the Lord that provides the key to our happiness and our human fulfilment", said the Pope, noting how God "calls us to a relationship of love. ... It is our love for the Lord that must inform every aspect of our preaching and teaching, our celebration of the Sacraments, and our care for the people of God. It is our love for the Lord that moves us to love those whom He loves, and to accept gladly the task of communicating His love to those we serve".

  "In every area of our lives we need the help of God's grace. With Him, we can do all things: without Him we can do nothing", said Benedict XVI.

  He then encouraged the faithful to "preserve the faith and values transmitted to you by your father the Apostle St. Paul. Continue to explore the richness and depth of Paul's gift to you and be sure to hand it on not only to your children, but to all those you encounter today. No visitor to Malta could fail to be impressed by the devotion of your people, the vibrant faith manifested in your feast-day celebrations, the beauty of your churches and shrines. But that gift needs to be shared with others, it needs to be articulated".

  Going on then to refer to Malta's first canonised saint, Dun Gorg Preca, the Pope highlighted "his tireless work of catechesis, inspiring young and old with a love for Christian doctrine and a deep devotion to the Incarnate Word of God". This "set an example that I urge you to maintain", he told his audience.

  In closing his homily, the Pope addressed some words to members of the clergy present at the celebration, in the context of the current Year for Priests. "Dun Gorg was a priest of remarkable humility, goodness, meekness and generosity, deeply devoted to prayer and with a passion for communicating the truths of the Gospel. Let him serve as a model and an inspiration for you".

  "Remember, too, the question that the Risen Lord put three times to Peter: 'Do you love me?' That is the question He asks each of you. Do you love Him? Do you wish to serve Him through the gift of your whole lives? Do you long to bring others to know and love Him? With Peter, have the courage to answer, 'Yes, Lord, you know I love you', and accept with grateful hearts the beautiful task He has assigned you. The mission entrusted to priests is truly a service to joy, to God's joy which longs to break into the world".

  After Mass, and before praying the Regina Coeli, the Holy Father mentioned the "particular devotion of the Maltese people to the Mother of God, expressed with great fervour to Our Lady of Ta' Pinu", whose image was "brought here specially from Gozo for this occasion. I am also delighted to present a golden rose to her, as a sign of our shared filial affection for the Mother of God.

  "I ask you in particular to pray to her under the title Queen of the Family, a title added to the Litany of Loreto by my beloved predecessor, Pope John Paul II, himself on more than one occasion a visitor to these shores. In offering you this tangible memento of my own visit, I thank you for all that I have received from you in return, especially for the warmth of your devotion and the support of your prayers for my ministry as the Successor of Peter".

  Following Mass and the Regina Coeli, the Benedict XVI travelled to the apostolic nunciature in Rabat, where he had lunch with the bishops of Malta and the papal entourage.
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VATICAN CITY, 17 APR 2010 (VIS) - As is the custom on his apostolic trips abroad, the Pope held a brief meeting with journalists accompanying him on his flight to Malta this afternoon.

  In his remarks to them, he briefly summarised the reasons for his trip to Malta, the first of which is St. Paul. "The universal Church's Pauline Year has ended, but Malta is celebrating 1950 years since his shipwreck, and this occasion again throws light on the important figure of the Apostle to the Gentiles and his message, which is still important today", he said. "I think we can summarise the essential point in words he himself used at the end of the Letter to the Galatians: 'Faith expressed in charity'.

  "Faith, the relationship with God which then transforms itself into charity, is still important today. But I also think that the memory of the shipwreck says something to us. For Malta, the opportunity to have the faith was born with the shipwreck. Thus we too can see how the shipwrecks of life can be part of God's project for us, and be useful for a new beginning to our lives.

  "The second reason is that it I am glad be in the midst of a lively Church such as that in Malta, which even today is rich in vocations, which is full of faith and responds to the challenges of our time. I am aware that Malta loves Christ and loves His Church which is His Body, and that it knows that, even if this body is wounded by our sins, the Lord still loves His Church, ... and His Gospel is the true force that purifies and heals.

  "The third point is that Malta is a place where waves of refugees arrive from Africa and knock on the doors of Europe. This is a great problem of our time, and naturally it cannot be resolved just by the island of Malta. All of us have to respond to this challenge, first of all so that people can live a dignified life in their own land, and on the other hand so that these refugees can also find space for a dignified life here. It means responding to a great challenge of our time, and Malta reminds us of these problems. It also reminds us that faith is the force which leads to charity, which allows us to respond well to these challenges".
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VATICAN CITY, 17 APR 2010 (VIS) - At 3.30 p.m. today the Pope departed from Rome's Fiumicino airport, landing an hour and a half later at Luqa international airport in Malta, thus beginning the fourteenth apostolic trip of his pontificate.

  Following a welcome speech by George Abela, president of the Republic of Malta, the Holy Father pronounced his address:

  "The occasion of my visit to these islands is the 1950th anniversary of St. Paul's shipwreck off the island of Malta", he said. "St. Luke describes this event in the Acts of the Apostles, and it is from his account that you have chosen the theme of this visit: 'We are to be stranded on some island'".

  Benedict XVI highlighted how Malta "has been at the crossroads of many of the great events and cultural exchanges in European and Mediterranean history, right up to our own times. ... To these shores, then, in the mysterious designs of God, the Gospel was brought by St. Paul and the early followers of Christ. Their missionary work has borne much fruit over the centuries, contributing in innumerable ways to shaping Malta's rich and noble culture".

  "You", the Pope told the Maltese people, "continue to play a valuable role in the ongoing debates on European identity, culture and policy. At the same time, I am pleased to note your Government's commitment to humanitarian projects further afield, especially in Africa. It is greatly to be hoped that this will serve to promote the welfare of those less fortunate than yourselves, as an expression of genuine Christian charity.

  "Indeed", he added, "Malta has much to contribute to questions as diverse as tolerance, reciprocity, immigration, and other issues crucial to the future of this continent. Your nation should continue to stand up for the indissolubility of marriage as a natural institution as well as a sacramental one, and for the true nature of the family, just as it does for the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death and for the proper respect owed to religious freedom in ways that bring authentic integral development to individuals and society".

  Noting the fact that "Malta also has close links to the near East, not only in cultural and religious terms, but even linguistically", the Pope pointed out that "much has still to be done to build relationships of genuine trust and fruitful dialogue, and Malta is well placed to hold out the hand of friendship to her neighbours to north and south, to east and west.

  "The Maltese people", he concluded, "enlightened for almost two millennia by the teachings of the Gospel and continually fortified by their Christian roots, are rightly proud of the indispensable role that the Catholic faith has played in their nation's development. The beauty of our faith is expressed in various and complementary ways here, not least in the lives of holiness which have led Maltese to give of themselves for the good of others. Among these we must include Dun Gorg Preca, whom I was pleased to canonise just three years ago (3 June, 2007). I invite all of you to invoke his intercession for the spiritual fruitfulness of this, my first pastoral visit among you".
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VATICAN CITY, 17 APR 2010 (VIS) - Following his courtesy visit to the president of the Republic of Malta at the Grand Masters' Palace in the island's capital city of Valletta, the Holy Father travelled thirteen kilometres by car to the church of St. Paul at Rabat where he was greeted by 250 missionaries.

  Having prayed for a few minutes before the Blessed Sacrament, the Pope descended the steps that lead into the Cave of St. Paul, which is considered to be the cornerstone of the Church in Malta because, according to tradition, the Apostle preached there for three months following his shipwreck on the island. In the Middle Ages a cemetery and various chapels were raised around the site. The first church was built in 1463, later replaced by two others, the latest of which dates from 1653.

  The Pope prayed in the cave, then signed the visitors' book and presented a silver votive lamp to the shrine. Emerging from the grotto, and having been greeted by Archbishop Paul Cremona O.P. of Malta, the Pope delivered an address from the atrium of the church to the faithful gathered in the square.

  "Paul's shipwreck and his three-month stay in Malta left an indelible mark upon the history of your country", said the Holy Father. "His words to his companions prior to his arrival in Malta, ... 'we are to be stranded on some island', in their original context, are a summons to courage in the face of the unknown and to unfailing confidence in God's mysterious providence".

  "In God's plan, St. Paul thus became your father in the Christian faith. Thanks to his presence among you, the Gospel of Jesus Christ took deep root and bore fruit not only in the lives of individuals, families and communities, but also in the formation of Malta's national identity and its vibrant and distinctive culture". In this context, the Pope made specific mention of the many Maltese missionaries, encouraging them "in their challenging and often heroic vocation".

  "St. Paul's arrival in Malta was not planned", the Holy Father went on. "Sailors can map a journey, but God, in His wisdom and providence, charts a course of His own. Paul, who dramatically encountered the Risen Lord while on the road to Damascus, knew this well. The course of his life was suddenly changed" and "his every thought and action was directed to proclaiming the mystery of the Cross and its message of God's reconciling love.

  "That same word, the word of the Gospel, still has the power to break into our lives and to change their course", Benedict XVI added. "Today the same Gospel which Paul preached continues to summon the people of these islands to conversion, new life and a future of hope".

  "From this holy place where the apostolic preaching first spread throughout these islands, I call upon each of you to take up the exciting challenge of the new evangelisation. ... In a particular way I urge parents, teachers and catechists to speak of your own living encounter with the Risen Jesus to others, especially the young people who are Malta's future".

  "The world needs this witness!", the Pope concluded. "In the face of so many threats to the sacredness of human life, and to the dignity of marriage and the family, do not our contemporaries need to be constantly reminded of the grandeur of our dignity as God's children and the sublime vocation we have received in Christ? Does not society need to re-appropriate and defend those fundamental moral truths which remain the foundation of authentic freedom and genuine progress?".

  Following his visit to the Cave of St. Paul. the Holy Father travelled to the apostolic nunciature in Rabat, where he spent the night.
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