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Thursday, April 15, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 15 APRIL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office Director, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., made the following declaration yesterday afternoon:

  "Ecclesial authorities do not consider it within their competency to make general affirmations of a specifically psychological or medical character and therefore naturally must refer to the study of specialists and the inquiries they carry out."

  "Concerning the competency of ecclesial authorities, in the area of the causes of abuse of minors on the part of priests, which the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith has faced in recent years, the statistical data related by Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna states that in 10% of cases of pedophilia, in the strict use of the term, 90% should rather be defined as ephebophilia (that is, with adolescents). Further, 60% of those are of a same sex and 30% of a heterosexual character. This, of course, references the problems of abuse on the part of priests and not of the population in general."
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VATICAN CITY, 15 APRIL 2010 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received the prelates of the North II Region of the Brazilian National Conference of Bishops on the conclusion of their ad limina visit.

  Speaking of the Eucharist, the Pope recalled that it constitutes "the centre and permanent source of the Petrine ministry, the heart of the Christian life, source and summit of the Church's mission of evangelization. You can thus understand the concern of the Successor of Peter for all that can obfuscate this most essential point of the Catholic faith: that today, Jesus Christ continues alive and truly present in the consecrated host and the chalice."

  "Paying less attention at times to the rite of the Most Holy Sacrament constitutes," he said, "a sign and a cause of the darkening of the Christian sense of mystery, such as when Jesus is not the centre of the Mass, but rather a community preoccupied with other things instead of being taken up and drawn to the only one necessary: their Lord."

  Benedict XVI emphasized that "if the figure of Christ does not emerge from the liturgy ... it is not a Christian liturgy". This is why, he added, "we find those who, in the name of enculturation, fall into syncretism, introducing rites taken from other religions or cultural particularities into the celebration of the Mass."

  As Venerable John Paul II wrote, "the mystery of the Eucharist is 'too great a gift' to admit of ambiguities or reductions, above all when, 'stripped of its sacrificial meaning, it is celebrated as if it were simply a fraternal banquet'."

  The Pope highlighted that "behind many alleged motives, there exists a mentality that is incapable of accepting the real possibility of divine intervention in this world to assist human beings. ... Admitting God's redeeming intervention to change our situation of alienation and sin is seen as fundamentalism by those who share a deist vision  and the same can be said about the sacramental sign that makes the salvific sacrifice present. For such persons, the celebration of a sign that corresponds to a vague sentiment of community would be more acceptable."

  "Worship, however," he continued, "cannot come from our imagination: that would be a cry in the darkness or mere self-affirmation. True liturgy supposes that God responds and shows us how we can adore Him. ... The Church lives in His presence and its reason for being and existing is to expand His presence in the world."

  The Holy Father concluded, recalling that within a month the 16th National Eucharistic Congress will be celebrated in Brazil. In this context he asked that Jesus in the Eucharist "truly be the heart of Brazil, from which comes the strength for all Brazilian men and women to recognize themselves and help one another as brothers and sisters and as members of Christ. Whoever wishes to live, has a place to live, has something to live for. Let them draw near, create and begin to form part of the Body of Christ and they will be given life."
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VATICAN CITY, 15 APRIL 2010 (VIS) - Last Tuesday, 6 April, an accord between the Holy See and Lower Saxony was signed in Hanover, Germany, modifying the Concord of 26 February 1965.

  Archbishop Jean-Claude Perisset, apostolic nuncio to Germany, signed as plenipotent emissary on behalf of the Holy See, and Minister-President Christian Wulff signed for Lower Saxony.

  The communique reads that, "the accord modifies Article 6 of the addendum to the accord between the Holy See and Lower Saxony and regulates the juridical position of some Catholic schools administered by the diocese of Hildesheim, Osnabruck, and Munster en ese Land."
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VATICAN CITY, 15 APRIL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

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

and six prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (North II Region), on their ad limina visit:

  - Bishop Alberto Taveira Correa, archbishop of Belem do Para.

  - Bishop Luigi Ferrando of Braganca do Para.

  - Bishop Carlo Verzeletti of Castanhal.

  - Bishop Pedro Jose Conti of Macapa.

  - Bishop Jose Foralosso, S.D.B., of Maraba.

  -Bishop Esmeraldo Barreto de Faria of Santarem.
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VATICAN CITY, 15 APRIL 2010 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Bishop Jacob Venance Koda from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Same, Tanzania in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
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VATICAN CITY, 15 APR 2010 (VIS) - This afternoon at 5:00pm, Cardinal0 Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, will preside at a Mass for the souls of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the other victims of the airplane accident that occurred on 10 April in Smolensk, Russia. Many members of the Diplomatic Corps and other accredited institutions to the Holy See and the Italian State will participate in the funeral rites.
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