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Monday, May 10, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 10 MAY 2010 (VIS) - "The definitive text of the second volume of the book 'Jesus of Nazareth' by His Holiness Benedict XVI was recently consigned to the publishers entrusted with its publication", says a note released today by the Holy See Press Office.

  "This second volume is dedicated to the Passion and the Resurrection, and starts where the first volume finished", says the note. "The German original was simultaneously consigned to Manuel Herder - the publisher editing the complete works ('Gesammelte Schriften') of Joseph Ratzinger - and to Fr. Giuseppe Costa, director of the Vatican Publishing House.

  "The latter, as the main publisher, will be responsible for the concession of rights, the publication of the Italian edition, and the delivery of the text to other publishers for translation into the various languages, which will be undertaken directly from the German original.

  "The hope is that the publication of the book in the major languages will come about contemporaneously. Yet this, however rapid, will still require various months, given the times necessary for an accurate translation of such an important and long-awaited text".
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VATICAN CITY, 8 MAY 2010 (VIS) - Yesterday evening Benedict XVI presided at the rites of "Ultima Commendatio" and of "Valedictio" at the end of the funeral Mass for Cardinal Luigi Poggi, archivist and librarian emeritus of Holy Roman Church, who died on 4 May at the age of 92. The Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, together with a number of members of the college.

  "Facing the mystery of death", said the Pope in his homily, "for a person without faith everything seems irredeemably lost. It is the word of Christ, then, that illuminates the path of life and confers value to each moment. ... It was in this horizon of faith that our lamented brother spent his life, consecrated to God and to the service of his brethren, thus becoming a witness of that courageous faith that is able to trust in God.

  "We could say that the entire priestly mission of Cardinal Luigi Poggi was dedicated to the direct service of the Holy See", the Pope added, recalling the various stages of the late prelate's career, beginning with his entry in 1945 into what was then the First Section of the Secretariat of State. "Difficult years, in which he spared no efforts in serving the Church", said Pope Benedict.

  In 1963 the cardinal went to Tunisia in order to reach a "modus vivendi" between the Holy See and the government of that country concerning the juridical position of the Church there. In 1965 he was appointed as apostolic delegate to Central Africa and made an archbishop. He became apostolic nuncio to Peru in 1969, then returned to Rome in 1973 where he became apostolic nuncio with special functions, particularly that of "maintaining contacts with the governments of Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Bulgaria, with a view to improving the situation of the Catholic Church in those States".

  When in 1974 relations between the Holy See and Poland were institutionalised, Archbishop Poggi was appointed as head of the Holy See delegation for permanent contacts with the Polish government. "During that period he made numerous trips to Poland, meeting many important political and ecclesiastical figures and playing, following the school of his superior Cardinal Agostino Cairoli, a leading role in the Vatican's 'ostpolitik' towards the countries of the communist bloc".

  In 1986 he was appointed as apostolic nuncio to Italy, from which time "the nunciature was given the responsibility of studying the reports concerning episcopal appointments in the country. In the same period, as pontifical representative, he oversaw a delicate period of reorganisation of Italian dioceses".

  John Paul II made him a cardinal in the consistory of November 1994, also appointing him as archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church, a post he held until 1998.

  "'If we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him'. ... Our thoughts go to these illuminating words of St. Paul as we render our final emotional homage to dear Cardinal Poggi. ... The sacramental, but real, union with Christ's Paschal mystery opens baptised people to the prospect of sharing in His glory. ... For this reason the pious death of a brother in Christ, and even more so if he is a priest, is always a reason for intimate recognition and wonder at the designs of divine paternity, which frees us from the power of darkness and transfers us to the kingdom of His beloved Son".
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VATICAN CITY, 8 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Belgium, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

  Referring to the bishop's individual reports on the situation in their dioceses, the Pope noted "the diminution in the number of baptised people who openly bear witness to their faith and their membership of the Church, the gradual increase in the average age of priests and religious, the lack of ordained and consecrated people who work in the fields of pastoral, educational and social care, and the scant numbers of candidates to the priesthood and consecrated life".

  "Other sensitive issues include Christian formation, especially of the young, and questions concerning respect for life and for the institution of marriage and the family", he went on. "We may also mention the complex and often worrying situations concerning the economic crisis, unemployment, the social integration of immigrants, and the peaceful coexistence of the various linguistic and cultural communities of the nation".

  Benedict XVI then turned to highlight "an event significant for today and the future: the canonisation of Fr. Damian de Veuster". In this context he mentioned the saint's "inner richness, his constant prayer, and his union with Christ Whom he recognised in his fellow men. Like Christ, he committed himself without reserve and, in this Year for Priests, it is a good idea to present his priestly and missionary example, especially to clergy and religious".

  "The fall in the number of priests must not be considered as an inevitable process", said Pope Benedict. In this context he highlighted the urgent need "to give priestly ministry its right place and to recognise its irreplaceable nature. It follows, then, that we need a wide-ranging and serious pastoral care of vocations based on the exemplary sanctity of priests, attention to the seeds of vocation present in many young people, and assiduous and trusting prayer as Jesus recommended".

  The Holy Father expressed his thanks to and encouraged priests, religious and missionaries, saying that only "Christ can calm all storms and give the strength and courage to lead a holy life in complete fidelity to one's ministry, consecration to God and Christian witness".

  "It is important for priests to celebrate the liturgy with care, especially the Eucharist", the Pope explained. "The liturgical traditions of the Church must be respected in the celebrations, with the active participation of the faithful, each following his or her own role and uniting themselves to the Paschal mystery of Christ".

  Benedict XVI went on to note how, in their reports, the bishops had also expressed concern over the formation of the laity. "We need to discern all the possibilities deriving from lay people's shared vocation to sanctity and apostolic work, respecting the essential distinction between priestly ministry and the 'common priesthood of the faithful'", he said.

  "All members of the Catholic community, but particularly the lay faithful, are called to bear public witness to their faith and to be a leaven in society while showing respect for a healthy secularism of public institutions and for other religious confessions. Such witness", he concluded, "cannot limit itself to private meetings, but must have the nature of a public proposal, respectful but legitimate, of the values inspired by the evangelical message of Christ".
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VATICAN CITY, 8 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Five prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Belgium, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Patrick Hoogmartens of Hasselt.

    - Bishop Aloysius Jousten of Liege.

    - Bishop Gur Harpigny of Tournai.

    - Msgr, Jean-Marie Huet, diocesan administrator of Namur, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Pierre Warin.

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re. prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, 8 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk, apostolic nuncio to Poland, as metropolitan archbishop of Gniezno (area 8,122, population 676,199, Catholics 667,011, priests 541, religious 340), Poland and as primate of Poland. He succeeds Archbishop Henryk Jozef Muszynski, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese and from the office of primate, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Fr. Victor Emilio Masalles Pere of the clergy of the archdiocese of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, pastor of the parish of "Jose da Calasanz" and professor of Holy Scripture, rhetoric and spirituality at the St. Thomas Aquinas Pontifical Seminary in Santo Domingo, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 4,032, population 5,447,000, Catholics 4,794,392, priests 447, permanent deacons 155, religious 2,774). The bishop-elect was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1991.

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Augsburg, Germany and from the office of military ordinary for Germany presented by Bishop Walter Mixa, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

 - Appointed Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, apostolic nuncio to Thailand, Singapore and Cambodia, and apostolic delegate to Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia and Brunei, as apostolic nuncio to India.

 - Appointed Bishop Kyrillos William, of Assiut, Lycopolis of the Copts, Egypt, as a member of the Special Council for Africa of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

 - Appointed as members of the Special Council for America of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops: Archbishop Ivan Antonio Marin Lopez of Popayan, Colombia, and Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez, coadjutor of Los Angeles, U.S.A.
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VATICAN CITY, 9 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Virgin May, to whom the Church dedicates the month of May, was the focus of Benedict XVI's remarks before praying the Regina Coeli on this sixth Sunday of Easter.

  "For the liturgy", the Pope told the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, "May always coincides with Easter time, the time of the 'Hallelujah', of the revelation of the mystery of Christ in the light of the Resurrection and of Paschal faith. And it is the time of awaiting the Holy Spirit, Who descended powerfully on the nascent Church at Pentecost".

  Mary, the Holy Father went on, "is the most beautiful flower to bloom from creation, the 'rose' that appeared in the fullness of time when God, by sending His Son, gave the world a new spring. At the same time, she was the humble and discreet protagonist of the first steps of the Christian community. Mary was its spiritual heart, because her presence among the disciples was a living reminder of the Lord Jesus and a pledge of the gift of His Spirit".

  "When Jesus promised His friends that the Holy Spirit would help them to remember and understand His every word, how can we not think of Mary who, in her heart, that temple of the Spirit, faithfully meditated on and interpreted everything her Son did and said? In this way, before and above all after Easter, the mother of Jesus also became the mother and model of the Church".

  Benedict XVI then went on to mention his forthcoming trip to Portugal, the highlight of which will be his visit to the shrine of Fatima for the tenth anniversary of the beatification of the shepherd children Jacinta and Francisco. "For the first time as Peter's Successor I will visit that Marian shrine so loved by the Venerable John Paul II", he said. "I invite everyone to accompany me on this pilgrimage, participating actively through prayer. With one heart and one soul, let us invoke the Virgin Mary's intercession for the Church, especially for priests and for peace in the world".
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VATICAN CITY, 9 MAY 2010 (VIS) - After praying the Regina Coeli today, the Pope addressed a message to the people of Brazil, where the sixteenth National Eucharistic Congress is due to be celebrated in the capital city of Brasilia from 13 to 16 May.

  "The theme of the Congress", said the Holy Father, "includes the words used by the disciples at Emmaus: 'stay with us', an expression of the desire that palpitates in the heart of every human being. May all of you, pastors and faithful, rediscover that the heart of Brazil is the Eucharist. It is precisely in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar that Jesus reveals His will to be with us, to live in us, to give Himself to us. Adoring Him leads us to recognise the primacy of God, because He can transform the hearts of man, raising them to join with Christ in a single Body".

  "In fact", he went on, "by receiving the Body of the risen Lord we experience communion with a Love that we cannot keep to ourselves; we have to communicate it to others in order to build a more just society. As we approach the close of the Year for Priests I invite all members of the clergy to cultivate a profoundly Eucharistic spirituality, following the example of the saintly' Cure of Ars' who, seeking to unite his own personal sacrifice to that of Christ renewed on the altar, exclaimed: 'How right it is for the priest to offer himself in sacrifice to God every morning!'. While invoking, through the intercession of Our Lady of Aparecida, the abundant grace of heaven that, nourished by the Eucharist, the bread of unity, you may be true missionary disciples, I willingly bestow my apostolic blessing".

  Going on then to greet English-speaking faithful present in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI recalled how on Tuesday 11 May he will begin his apostolic trip to Portugal for the tenth anniversary of the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco, the shepherd children of Fatima. "I ask for your prayers for the success of this journey, and I in turn assure you of my prayers to Our Lady of Fatima for the whole People of God".
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