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Monday, June 21, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 20 JUN 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI celebrated Mass this morning in the Vatican Basilica, during the course of which he conferred priestly ordination on fourteen deacons from the diocese of Rome.

  In his homily the Pope explained how, "in prayer, the priest is called to rediscover the ever-new face of his Lord, the most authentic content of his mission. Only one who has an intimate relationship with the Lord can be seized by Him, can bring Him to others, can become His envoy. This involves a kind of 'remaining with Him' which must always accompany, and be the core of, priestly ministry, also and above all during moments of difficulty when it seems that 'the things to be done' must take priority. Wherever we are, whatever we do, we must always 'remain with Him'".

  "The priesthood must never represent a way to achieve security in life or to attain social position. Anyone who aspires to the priesthood in order to increase his personal prestige and power has radically misunderstood the significance of this ministry. Anyone whose main goal is to realise an ambition of his own, to achieve success, will always be a slave to himself and to public opinion. In order to be noticed he will have to adulate; he must say what people want to hear, he must adapt to changing fashions and opinions. In this way, he will deprive himself of the vital relationship with truth, reducing himself to condemning tomorrow what he praises today.

  "A man who organises his life like this", the Holy Father added, "a priest who sees his ministry in these terms, does not truly love God and neighbour, he loves only himself and, paradoxically, ends up by losing himself. The priesthood - let us never forget it - is founded on the courage to say yes to another will, with the daily-growing awareness that - precisely my conforming ourselves to the will of God, 'immersed' in this will - not only is our originality not cancelled but, quite the contrary, we increasingly enter into the truth of our being and our ministry".

  "When we celebrate Mass", said Benedict XVI, "we have the bread of heaven in our hands, the bread of God Who is Christ, the grain broken to be multiplied and become the true food for the life of the world. This cannot but fill you with a sense of inner wonder, of living joy and immense gratitude because now the love and gift of the crucified and glorious Christ pass through your hands, through your hearts! It is an experience of wonder, ever new, to see that in my hands and in my voice the Lord achieves this mystery of His presence".

  The Pope asked God to give the new priests "the grace to achieve a profound experience of all the beauty and power of your priestly service and, at the same time, the grace to be able to live this ministry coherently and generously, every day.

  "The grace of the priesthood", he told the newly-ordained priests, "will unite you in the depths of your hearts to the sentiments of Jesus, Who loved unto the end unto the total gift of self, it will unite you to His becoming bread multiplied for the holy meal of unity and communion".

  The Holy Father concluded by explaining that "care over the celebration of the Eucharist must always be accompanied by commitment to Eucharistic life; that is, a life lived in obedience to the one great law, the law of love that gives completely and serves with humility, a life that the grace of the Holy Spirit makes ever more similar to that of Jesus Christ, High and Eternal Priest, Servant of God and of man".
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VATICAN CITY, 20 JUN 2010 (VIS) - At midday today, following this morning's Mass in the Vatican Basilica during which he conferred priestly ordination on fourteen deacons from the diocese of Rome, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his private study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  "The Sacrament of Holy Orders demonstrates, on God's part, attentive closeness to mankind and, on the part of those who receive the Sacrament, complete willingness to become instruments of that closeness, with a radical love for Christ and for the Church.

  "In today's Gospel", the Holy Father added, "the Lord asks His disciples: 'Who do you say that I am?' To this the Apostle Peter promptly replies: 'The Messiah of God', thus surmounting the earthly opinions that held Jesus to be one of the prophets".

  "It is to us too - who can know the Lord through faith in His Word and the Sacraments - that Jesus addresses the proposal to follow Him every day. And it is us too whom He tells that, in order to be His disciples, we must acquire the power of His cross, pinnacle of our good and crown of our hope. ... Taking up the cross means committing ourselves to defeat the sin that blocks the way to God, daily welcoming the will of the Lord and growing in faith, especially in the face of problems, difficulties and suffering", said the Pope.

  "Also in our own time there are many Christians in the world who, animated by love for God, daily take up their cross, both the cross of everyday trials and that of human barbarity which sometimes requires the courage of the supreme sacrifice. May the Lord enable each of us to place our solid hope in Him, certain that, by carrying our cross, we will, with Him, attain the light of the resurrection".
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VATICAN CITY, 20 JUN 2010 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus at midday today, Benedict XVI launched "a pressing appeal for peace and security to be promptly re-established in southern Kyrgyzstan, following the serious clashes of recent days".

  The Pope expressed his closeness to the victims and gave assurances of his prayers for everyone suffering because of this tragedy. He also invited "all the ethnic communities of the country to renounce any form of provocation or violence", and asked "the international community to strive to that humanitarian aid can soon reach the people affected".

  The Holy Father then went on to recall the fact that today marks the United Nations' annual World Refugee Day, which aims "to call attention to the problems of people who have been forced to leave their lands and familiar customs, often taking refuge in profoundly different environments. Refugees wish to be welcomed and to see their dignity and fundamental rights recognised. At the same time they intend to make their own contribution to the society that welcomes them, We pray that, with due reciprocity, refugees' expectations may find an adequate response, and they may demonstrate the respect they nourish for the identity of the communities that receive them".
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VATICAN CITY, 21 JUN 2010 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. today announced that the Vietnam - Holy See Joint Working Group will hold its second meeting in the Vatican on 23 and 24 June. The aim of the meeting is to strengthen and develop bilateral relations, as declared at the end of the group's first meeting, which took place in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on 17 February 2009.
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VATICAN CITY, 21 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences eleven prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Miguel Angelo Freitas Ribeiro of Oliveira.

    - Bishop Guilherme Porto of Sete Lagoas.

    - Bishop Emanuel Messias de Oliveira of Guanhaes.

    - Bishop Aloisio Jorge Pena Vitral of Teofilo Otoni.

    - Bishop Francisco Carlos da Silva of Ituiutaba.

    - Bishop Paulo Francisco Machado of Uberlandia.

    - Bishop Tarcisio Nascente dos Santos of Divinopolis.

    - Bishop Waldemar Chaves de Araujo of Sao Joao del Rei.

    - Bishop Jose Ronaldo Ribeiro of Janauba.

    - Bishop Jose Moreira da Silva of Januaria.

    - Bishop Leonardo de Miranda Pereira of Paracatu.

  On Saturday 19 June he received in separate audiences:

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

 - Archbishop Velasio De Paolis C.S., president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
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VATICAN CITY, 21 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. John Wong Soo Kau, vice director of the preparatory year of St. Peter's College in Kuching, Malaysia, as coadjutor archbishop of the archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu (area 11,558, population 3,746,000, Catholics 186,138, priests 38, religious 140), Malaysia. The archbishop-elect was born in Sandakan, Malaysia in 1968 and ordained a priest in 1999.

  On Saturday 19 June it was made public that he:

 - Appointed Fr. Zbignev Stankevics of the clergy of the archdiocese of Riga, Latvia, spiritual director of the local seminary and director of the higher institute for religious sciences, as metropolitan archbishop of the same archdiocese (area 23,587, population 1,250,000, Catholics 220,000, priests 41, permanent deacons 1, religious 63). The archbishop-elect was born in Lejasciema, Latvia in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1996. He succeeds Cardinal Janis Pujats, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop of Santiago de Chile, Chile, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the centenary of the diocese of Catamarca, Argentina, due to take place on 21 August.
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