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Monday, March 29, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 27 MAR 2010 (VIS) - Today, during a private audience with Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Pope authorised the congregation to promulgate the following decrees:


 - Blessed Bonifacia Rodriguez Castro, Spanish foundress of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters, Servants of St. Joseph (1837-1905).

 - Servant of God Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, Spanish bishop of Osma (1600-1659).

 - Servant of God Maria Barbara of the Blessed Trinity (nee Barbara Maix), Austrian foundress of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (1818-1873).

 - Servant of God Anna Maria Adorni, Italian foundress of the Congregation of Handmaidens of Blessed Mary Immaculate and of the Institute of the Good Shepherd of Parma (1805-1893).

 - Servant of God Mary of the Immaculate Conception (nee Maria Isabella Salvat y Romero), Spanish superior general of the Institute of Sisters of the Company of the Cross (1926-1998).

 - Servant of God Stephen Nehme (ne Joseph), Lebanese professed religious of the Order of Maronites (1889-1938).


 - Servant of God Szilard Bogdanffy, Romanian bishop of Oradea Mare of the Latins, died in prison in Nagyenyed, Romania (1911-1953).

 - Servant of God Gerhard Hirschfelder, German diocesan priest, died in Dachau concentration camp (1907-1942).

 - Servant of God Luigi Grozde, Slovenian layman and member of Catholic Action, killed at Mirna in hatred of the faith (1923-1943).


 - Servant of God Francesco Antonio Marcucci, Italian archbishop-bishop of Montalto (1717-1798).

 - Servant of God Ivan Franjo Gnidovec, Slovenian bishop of Skopje-Prizren, (1873-1939).

 - Servant of God Luigi Novarese, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Silent Workers of the Cross (1914-1984).

 - Servant of God Henriette DeLille, American foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family (1813-1862).

 - Servant of God Maria Theresia (nee Regina Christine Wilhelmine Bonzel), German foundress of the Institute of Poor Franciscan Sisters of the Perpetual Adoration, of the Third Order of St. Francis (1830-1905).

 - Servant of God Maria Frances of the Cross (nee Franziska Amalia Streitel), German foundress of the Institute of Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows (1844-1911).

 - Servant of God Maria Felicia of Sacramental Jesus (nee Maria Felicia Guggiari Echevarria), Paraguayan professed sister of the Order of Discalced Carmelites. (1925-1959).
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VATICAN CITY, 27 MAR 2010 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a note released by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., entitled "Vigil of Holy Week".

  "The question of the sexual abuse of minors by members of the Catholic clergy has continued to receive wide coverage in the communications media of many countries, especially in Europe and North America, coverage which has continued over recent days following the publication of the Pope's Letter to the Catholics of Ireland.

  "This is no surprise. The nature of the question is such as to attract the attention of the media, and the way in which the Church deals with it is crucial for her moral credibility.

  "The truth is that the cases that have come to public attention generally took place some time ago, even decades ago, although recognising them and making amends with the victims is the best way to restore justice and to achieve that 'purification of memory' which enables us to look to the future with renewed commitment, with humility and trust.

  "A contribution to this trust comes from the many positive signals emerging from various episcopal conferences, bishops and Catholic institutions in different countries on the various continents: directives for the correct handling and prevention of abuses, which have been reiterated, updated and renewed in Germany, Austria, Australia, Canada etc.

  "In particular, one piece of good news is the seventh annual report on the application of 'Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People' of the Church in the United States. Without indulging in misplaced congratulations, we cannot but recognise the extraordinary preventative efforts being undertaken, with numerous formational and training courses both for the young people and for pastoral and educational staff. And it must acknowledged that the number of accusations of abuse has dropped by more than 30 percent over the last year, and most of them concerned cases more than thirty years old. Without entering into further details, it must be recognised that the decisive measures currently being implemented are proving effective: the Church in the United States is on the right road to renewal.

  "This, we feel, is an important piece of news in the context of recent media attacks, which have undoubtedly proved harmful. But an impartial observer will not fail to notice that the authority of the Pope and the intense and coherent commitment of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have not been weakened, rather they have been confirmed in their support and guidance to bishops to combat and root out the blight of abuse wherever it appears. The Pope's recent Letter to the Church in Ireland is powerful testimony of this, and contributes to preparing the future along the path of 'healing, renewal, reparation'.

  "With humility and trust, in a spirit of penance and hope, the Church now enters Holy Week asking the mercy and grace of the Lord, Who suffered and died for all".
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VATICAN CITY, 28 MAR 2010 (VIS) - Young people from all over the world this morning participated in the Palm Sunday Eucharistic celebration presided by the Pope in St. Peter's Square. Today also marks 25th World Youth Day, celebrated this year at a diocesan level on the theme : "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

  Before Mass, Benedict XVI blessed the palms and olive branches by the obelisk in the square then led the procession to the altar.

  In his homily the Holy Father explained that "to be Christian means to believe that the way of Jesus Christ is the right way to be human, the way that leads to the goal of a completely fulfilled and authentic humanity".

  Addressing himself in particular to the young he said that "to be Christian is a way, or rather it is a pilgrimage, a journey with Jesus Christ. It is to go in the direction He showed us, and continues to show us.

  "But", the Pope added, "what direction is that? How can we find it?". The Gospel, he said, "offers us two clues. In the first place it says that it is an ascent. ... Jesus walks before us, He climbs towards the heights. He leads us to what is great and pure, He leads us to the healthy air of the heights, to a life lived according to truth, to the courage that does not allow itself to be intimidated by the chatter of dominant opinion, to the patience that bears with and sustains others".

  Benedict XVI went on: "In the breadth of Jesus' ascent the dimensions of our own discipleship, the goal to which He wishes to lead us, become apparent: the heights of God, communion with God, being-with-God. This is the true goal, and communion with Him is the way. Communion with Christ is a journey, a permanent ascent towards the heights of our calling. To walk with Christ is at the same time to journey in the 'us' of those who want to follow Him".

  "We are then, so to say, on the same 'expedition' as Jesus Christ, we are with Him in the climb to the heights of God. He pulls us up and supports us. Part of the discipleship of Christ is allowing ourselves to join this expedition, to accept that we cannot manage alone".

  "Being together on expedition also involves not behaving as masters of the Word of God, not chasing after an erroneous idea of emancipation. The humility of 'being-with' is an essential part of the ascent", said Benedict XVI. "Another aspect thereof is allowing the Lord, in the Sacraments, to take us by the hand; allowing ourselves to be purified and corroborated by Him, and accepting the discipline of the ascent even if we are tired".

  "And part of the ascent to the heights of Jesus Christ, the ascent to the heights of God Himself, is the Cross. Just as in the things of this world we cannot achieve great results without sacrifice and hard work, just as joy for a great academic discovery or for an authentic practical skill is associated with discipline and with the effort of learning, so too the way to life itself, to fulfilling our humanity, is linked to communion with the One Who climbed to the heights of God through the Cross. In the final instance, the Cross is the expression of what love means: only he who loses himself can find himself".

  The Holy Father went on: "Our pilgrimage as disciples of Christ does not, then, lead to some earthly city, but towards the new City of God which arises in the midst of this world. And yet the pilgrimage to the earthly Jerusalem can also be, for us as Christians, a useful element for that greater journey".

  Recalling the greeting uttered by pilgrims as they enter the Holy City - "peace on earth and glory in the highest" - Benedict XVI concluded by asking the Lord "to bring us heaven: the glory of God and peace among men. We understand that greeting in the spirit of the request contained in the Lord's prayer: 'your will be done on earth as it is in heaven'. We know that heaven is heaven, a place of glory and peace because there the will of God has complete reign. And we know the earth will not be heaven until the will of God is accomplished here".
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VATICAN CITY, 28 MAR 2010 (VIS) - At the end of today's solemn Eucharistic celebration for Palm Sunday, the Pope prayed the Angelus with faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  Before the Marian prayer the Pope recalled how in 1985, to coincide with the International Year for Young People called by the United Nations, John Paul II had instituted the World Youth Days, which are celebrated every year on Palm Sunday with an additional international gathering of young people every three years.

  "Twenty-five year ago my beloved predecessor invited young people to profess their faith in Christ", said Benedict XVI. "Today I renew this appeal to the new generations to bear witness, with the mild but luminous power of truth, that the men and women of the third millennium may not lack their most authentic model: Jesus Christ".

  After the Angelus prayer, the Pope addressed some remarks to young people: "Do not be afraid when following Christ leads to misunderstandings and affronts. Serve Him in the weakest and most disadvantaged people, especially your own peers in difficulties. In this contest, I wish to give assurances of my special prayers for World Autism Awareness Day, promoted by the UN, which falls on 2 April".

  The Holy Father then turned his attention to Jerusalem, "where the Paschal Mystery was fulfilled", saying: "I am deeply pained by the recent clashes and the tension that has again arisen in that city, which is the homeland of Christians, Jews and Muslims, a prophecy and promise of the universal reconciliation God desires for the entire human family.

  "Peace", he added in conclusion, "is a gift that God entrusts to human responsibility, to be cultivated through dialogue, respect for the rights of all, reconciliation and forgiveness. Let us pray, then, that those responsible for the fate of Jerusalem may courageously start down the road of peace and follow it with perseverance".
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VATICAN CITY, 29 MAR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

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

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

 - Cardinal Julian Herranz, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

 - Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, rector of Rome's Pontifical Lateran University and president of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

  On Saturday 27 March he received in separate audiences:

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

 - Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

 - Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.

 - Marius Gabriel Lazurca, ambassador of Romania, accompanied by his wife on a farewell visit.
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VATICAN CITY, 29 MAR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the archdiocese of Aix, France, presented by Archbishop Claude Feidt, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Archbishop Christophe Dufour.

 - Appointed Bishop John 'Oke Afareha, auxiliary of Warri, Nigeria, as bishop of the same diocese (area 10,650, population 3,308,246, Catholics 217,894, priests 93, religious 72).

 - Appointed Fr. Jean Marie Vu Tat of the clergy of Hung Hoa, Vietnam, vice rector of the major seminary of Hanoi, Vietnam, as auxiliary of Hung Hoa (area 54,352, population 6,963,632, Catholics 222,647, priests 54, religious 191). The bishop-elect was born in Di Nau, Vietnam in 1944 and ordained a priest in 1987.

  On Saturday 27 March it was made public that he:

 - Appointed Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, as pontifical legate to the tenth National Eucharistic Congress, due to be held in Toledo, Spain, from 27 to 30 May.

 - Appointed Archbishop Petar Rajic, apostolic nuncio to Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, and apostolic delegate to the Arabian Peninsula, also as apostolic nuncio to Yemen.

 - Appointed Fr. Raymond Ahoua F.D.P., head of formation of seminarians for the Franciscans of Divine Providence, formerly a missionary in Kenya, as bishop of Grand-Bassam (area 8,354, population 1,650,250, Catholics 294,273, priests 114, religious 75), Ivory Coast. The bishop-elect was born in Bonoua, Ivory Coast in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1990. He succeeds Bishop Paul Dacoury-Tabley, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
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