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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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