Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 11 MAY 2010 (VIS) - At 9.10 a.m. this morning Benedict XVI departed from Rome's Fiumicino airport, landing at 11.00 a.m. at Portela international airport of Lisbon, thus beginning his apostolic trip to Portugal, the fifteenth foreign visit of his pontificate.

  On arrival the Holy Father was greeted by Anibal Cavaco Silva, president of the Republic of Portugal, and by Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo, patriarch of Lisbon. Various political and civil authorities were also in attendance, as well as members of the Portuguese episcopate.

  "I come as a pilgrim to Our Lady of Fatima", said the Pope at the beginning of his address, "invested from on high with the mission of confirming my brothers and sisters as they advance on their own pilgrimage towards heaven".

  "The Virgin Mary came from heaven to remind us of the truths of the Gospel which for humankind - lacking in love and without hope of salvation - represent a source of hope. Clearly this hope has as its first and radical dimension, not the horizontal, but the vertical and transcendent relationship. The relationship with God is a constituent part of man who was created and ordained for God, who seeks for truth within his own cognitive structures, who tends towards good in the sphere of volition, and who is attracted by beauty in the aesthetic dimension.

  "A conscience may be described as Christian in the measure to which it is open to the fullness of the life and wisdom we have in Jesus Christ", he added. "The aim of this visit, which I am now beginning under the sign of hope, is to be a proposal of wisdom and of mission".

  The Holy Father went on: "An insightful vision of life and of the world leads to a just ordering of society. Situated within history, the Church is open to collaborate with those who do not marginalise essential consideration for the human significance of life, or reduce it to the private sphere. This does not mean an ethical confrontation between a secular system and a religious system, rather it concerns the question about the meaning that we give to our freedom. The distinguishing feature is the value attributed to the problem of meaning and its implication in public life".

  In this context, Benedict XVI recalled how the foundation of a republic in Portugal 100 years ago, "by distinguishing between Church and State, opened a new space of freedom for the Church (to which the two Concordats of 1940 and 2004 later gave form) in a cultural and ecclesial context deeply marked by rapid changes. The sufferings caused by the transformations were, in general, faced with courage", he said.

  "Living in a plurality of value systems and ethical structures makes it necessary to journey to the core of one's own self and to the nucleus of Christianity in order to reinforce the quality of our witness unto sanctity, and to discover the paths of the mission that lead even to the radical choice of martyrdom".

  Having completed his address, Benedict XVI went to the apostolic nunciature. At 12.30 p.m. he travelled nine kilometres by car to the "Mosterio dos Jeronimos". The monastery was built between 1502 and 1580 over the hermitage of "Santa Maria de Belem", donated by King Manuel I to the order of Hieronymites.

  The building, which is currently used to welcome visiting heads of State, also has strong ties to the great Portuguese explorers and missionaries, whose exploits are recorded in the nearby "Torre de Belem". Since 1983 it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in 2007 it was the location used for the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon.

  Benedict XVI was received by President Cavaco Silva and his wife. Following the welcome ceremony, in the company by Cardinal Policarpo, he made a brief visit to the ancient church of "Santa Maria de Belem" where he prayed before the Blessed Sacrament then visited the cloister of the monastery.

  At 1.15 p.m. the Holy Father mounted the popemobile to travel the 400 metres separating the monastery from the "Palacio de Belem", also built in the sixteenth century and the residence of Portuguese monarchs until the declaration of the republic in 1911, when it became the official residence of the president.

  In the "Palacio de Belem", the Pope paid a courtesy visit to President Cavaco Silva, with whom he held a private meeting before signing the visitors' book and greeting members of the president's family. He also addressed some words to the staff who work in the palace. He then returned to the apostolic nunciature where he had lunch.
PV-PORTUGAL/                            VIS 20100511 (790)


VATICAN CITY, 11 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Governorate of Vatican City State and Telecom Italia have announced the signing of a contract for the installation of the first nucleus of the "Integrated Communication Infrastructure for Vatican City State". This consists in a broadband IP network capable of voice, data and video transmission within the territory of the Holy See and Vatican City State, according to a communique published today.

  The plan includes, among other things, fibre optic cable links between the ten main extraterritorial sites including the Pontifical Villas at Castelgandolfo and the radio stations in Santa Maria de Galeria.
OP/                                    VIS 20100511 (110)


VATICAN CITY, 11 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Fr. Edward A. Nevares of the clergy of the diocese of Tyler, U.S.A., vice rector of the Josephinum Pontifical College in Columbus, as auxiliary of the diocese of Phoenix (area 113,831, population 4,415,210, Catholics 706,433, priests 318, permanent deacons 269, religious 317), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in San Antonio, U.S.A. in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1981.

 - Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, president of the Labour Office of the Apostolic See and member of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia, as president of the same commission.
NEA:NA/                                VIS 20100511 (110)
Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service