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Monday, June 28, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 26 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received members of the "Circolo di San Pietro" who gave him, as they traditionally do every year, the "Peter's Pence" collection which is raised annually in parishes and religious institutes of the diocese of Rome. 

  In his brief remarks to them, the Pope spoke of the recently-concluded Year for Priests, during which the Church dedicated particular attention to the figure of St. John Mary Vianney, the holy 'Cure of Ars'. He was, said the Holy Father, "a model of evangelical life, not only for priests but also for lay people, especially for those ... who work in the vast field of charity. Indeed, one specific aspect of the life of that humble priest was his detachment from material goods".

  Benedict XVI expressed the hope that the example of St. John Mary Vianney may represent "a constant invitation to open our arms to all people in need of a tangible sign of solidarity". He likewise exhorted the members of the "Circolo di San Pietro" to continue "to represent this concrete sign of the Pope's charity towards those in need, in both material and spiritual terms".

  Having then expressed his thanks for "Peter's Pence", the Holy Father highlighted how the collection "is an eloquent testimony of evangelical charity because it expresses, on the one hand, the affection felt by this city's inhabitants and pilgrims towards Peter's Successor and, on the other, the Holy See's real solidarity with many situations of suffering and poverty which, unfortunately, continue to exist in Rome and in many other parts of the world".

  "Through your commitment to go out and meet the needs of the less fortunate", the Pope concluded, "you spread a message of hope that arises from faith and adherence to the Lord, and you become heralds of His Gospel. May charity and witness continue to be the leading aspects of your apostolate".
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VATICAN CITY, 26 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Secretariat of State today published the following English-language communique:

  "As agreed at its first meeting in Hanoi in February 2009, the second meeting of the Vietnam - Holy See Joint Working Group took place in the Vatican from 23 to 24 June, co-chaired by Msgr. Ettore Balestrero, Holy See under secretary for Relations with States who headed the Holy See delegation, and Nguyen Quoc Cuong, vice minister of Foreign Affairs who headed the Vietnamese Delegation.

  "After reviewing the progress made since the first Joint Working Group meeting, the two sides discussed international issues and those related to bilateral relations and to the Catholic Church in Vietnam. The Vietnamese side recalled its consistent policy of respect for freedom of religion and belief as well as the legal provisions to guarantee its implementation. The Holy See delegation took note of this explanation and asked that further conditions be established so that the Church may participate effectively in the development of the country, especially in the spiritual, educational, healthcare, social and charitable fields. The Holy See delegation also mentioned that the Church in her teaching invites the faithful to be good citizens and therefore to work for the common good of the population.

  "The two sides noted encouraging developments in various areas of Catholic life in Vietnam, especially in relation to the Jubilee Year. Furthermore they recalled the address of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI during the last 'ad limina' visit of the Vietnamese bishops and the Holy Father's Message to the Catholic Church in Vietnam on the occasion of the Jubilee Year, and agreed that these teachings of the Holy Father would serve as an orientation for the Catholic Church in Vietnam in the years ahead.

  "On bilateral relations the two sides appreciated the positive developments since the first meeting of the Joint Working Group, especially the meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and the Vietnamese State President Nguyen Minh Triet in December 2009. The two sides also had in-depth and comprehensive discussions on bilateral diplomatic relations. In order to deepen the relations between the Holy See and Vietnam, as well as the bonds between the Holy See and the local Catholic Church, it was agreed that, as a first step, a non-resident representative of the Holy See for Vietnam will be appointed by the Pope.

  "The two sides decided to hold the third meeting of the Joint Working Group in Vietnam; the time of the meeting will be settled through diplomatic channels.

  "On the occasion of the meeting, the Vietnamese delegation paid courtesy visits to Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Holy See secretary for Relations with States, to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and to the Vicariate of the diocese of Rome. The Delegation also visited the Holy See's 'Bambino Gesu' paediatric hospital in Rome".
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VATICAN CITY, 26 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Secretariat of State today announced that Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, received the Letters accrediting Nikolay Sadchikov as ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Holy See. In the near future, Archbishop Antonio Mennini will present Sergei Lavrov, minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, with the Letters of Credence accrediting him as apostolic nuncio to that State.
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VATICAN CITY, 27 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Pope focused his remarks prior to praying the Angelus on this last Sunday of June to the theme of the call of Christ and the requirements it brings.

  Addressing thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope said that "a young man or young woman who leave their family, their studies or their work to consecrate themselves to God" represent "a living example of the radical response to the divine vocation". 

  "One of the most beautiful experiences a person can have in the Church is that of being able to see and touch the work of the Lord in people's lives, of experiencing the fact that God is not some abstract entity, but a reality so great and strong as to fill man's heart to overflowing; a living Person Who is close to us, Who loves us and asks to be loved".

  Benedict XVI highlighted how the requirements for following Christ "may seem very harsh, but in reality they express the novelty and absolute priority of the Kingdom of God which is present in the Person of Jesus Christ. They are, in the final analysis, the radical commitment that is due to the Love of God, which Jesus Himself was the first to obey".

  "A person who renounces everything in order to follow Christ enters a new dimension of freedom", he continued. "Freedom and love are the same thing, while obeying one's own egoism leads to rivality and conflict".

  The Holy Father concluded by inviting everyone "to contemplate the mystery of the divine-human Heart of the Lord Jesus. ... People who fix their gaze on that Heart, pierced and ever open with Love for us, feel the truth of the following invocation: 'Be you, my Lord, my only good', and are ready to abandon everything in order to follow the Lord". 

  After praying the Angelus, the Pope recalled how in Lebanon this morning a beatification ceremony was held for Etienne (ne Joseph) Nehme, religious of the Lebanese Maronite Order who lived in Lebanon between the end of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. "My heartfelt congratulations go to our Lebanese brothers and sisters", he said, "and with great affection I commend them to the protection of the new blessed".

  "On this Sunday which precedes the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles", the Holy Father concluded, "Italy and other countries are celebrating the Day of the Pope's Charity. I express my gratitude to people who, with prayer and offerings, support the apostolic and charitable activity of Peter's Successor, in favour of the universal Church and of so many of our brothers and sisters, both near and far".
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VATICAN CITY, 27 JUN 2010 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a message, made public today Sunday, sent by the Pope to Archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels, president of the Belgian Episcopal Conference, following the search of the cathedral of Mechelen and of the archbishopric which was conducted on 24 June.

  "At this sad time I wish to express my special closeness and solidarity to you, dear brother in the episcopate, and to all the bishops of the Church in Belgium, for the surprising and deplorable manner in which searches were carried out at the cathedral of Mechelen and at the site where the Belgian episcopate was gathered in a plenary assembly which, among other things, also intended to consider questions associated with the abuse of minors by members of the clergy. On a number of occasions I myself have highlighted how these serious matters should be dealt with by both civil law and canon law, while respecting the specific nature and autonomy of each. In this context, I trust that justice may run its course in order to guarantee the fundamental rights of persons and of institutions, at the same time respecting victims, showing unconditional recognition for those who undertake to collaborate, and rejecting everything that obscures the noble goal with which justice is assigned.

  "While assuring you that I accompany the progress of your Church with my daily prayers, I willingly impart an affectionate apostolic blessing".
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VATICAN CITY, 28 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Pope today received in audience the members of a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, who have come to Rome for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles.

  The delegation, sent by His Holiness Bartholomew I, is composed of His Eminence Gennadios (Limouris), metropolitan of Sassima, joint secretary of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and vice moderator of the central committee of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland; His Eminence Bartholomaios (Ioannis Kessidis), bishop of Arianzos, assistant to the metropolitan of Germany, and Deacon Theodoros Meimaris of the patriarchal see of Fanar.

  At the start of his English-language address to the group, the Holy Father rendered thanks unto God "that the relations between us are characterised by sentiments of mutual trust, esteem and fraternity, as is amply testified by the many meetings that have already taken place in the course of this year".

  "All this gives grounds for hope that Catholic-Orthodox dialogue will also continue to make significant progress", he added.

  Referring to the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue, the Pope noted how it is now "at a crucial point, having begun last October in Paphos to discuss the 'The Role of the Bishop of Rome in the Communion of the Church in the First Millennium'. With all our hearts we pray that, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, the members of the commission will continue along this path during the forthcoming plenary session in Vienna, Austria, and devote to it the time needed for thorough study of this delicate and important issue. For me it is an encouraging sign that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and the Holy Synod of Constantinople share our firm conviction of the importance of this dialogue".

  Benedict XVI then noted how the forthcoming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, due to be held in October, will dedicate particular attention to "the theme of ecumenical co-operation between the Christians of that region". And he highlighted the fact that that "the difficulties that the Christians of the Middle East are experiencing are in large measure common to all: living as a minority, and yearning for authentic religious freedom and for peace. Dialogue is needed with the Islamic and Jewish communities".

  "In this context I shall be very pleased to welcome the fraternal delegation which the Ecumenical Patriarch will send in order to participate in the work of the Synodal Assembly", the Pope concluded.
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VATICAN CITY, 28 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique early this afternoon:

  "(1) The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Christoph Schonborn O.P., archbishop of Vienna and president of the Austrian Episcopal Conference. The cardinal had asked to meet the Supreme Pontiff personally in order to report on the current situation of the Church in Austria. In particular, Cardinal Schonborn wished to clarify the exact meaning of his recent declarations concerning some aspects of current ecclesiastical discipline, and certain of his judgements regarding positions adopted by the Secretariat of State - and in particular by the then Secretary of State of Pope John Paul II - concerning the late Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, archbishop of Vienna from 1986 to 1995.

  "(2) Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, and Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. were subsequently invited to join the meeting.

  "In the second part of the audience certain widespread misunderstandings were clarified and resolved, misunderstandings deriving partly from certain statements of Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, who expressed his displeasure at the interpretations given to his words.

  "In particular:

  "(a) It must be reiterated that, in the Church, when accusations are made against a cardinal, competency falls exclusively to the Pope; other parties may have a consultative function, while always maintaining due respect for persons.

  "(b) The word 'chiacchiericcio' (gossip) was erroneously interpreted as disrespectful to the victims of sexual abuse, towards whom Cardinal Angelo Sodano nourishes the same feelings of compassion, and of condemnation of evil, as expressed on various occasions by the Holy Father. That word, pronounced during his Easter address to Pope Benedict XVI, was taken literally from the pontifical homily of Palm Sunday and referred to the "courage that does not let itself be intimidated by the gossip of prevalent opinions".

  "(3) The Holy Father, recalling with great affection his own pastoral trip to Austria, via Cardinal Christoph Schonborn sends his greetings and encouragement to the Church in Austria, and to her pastors, entrusting the journey to renewed ecclesial communion to the celestial protection of the Blessed Virgin, so venerated at Mariazell".
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VATICAN CITY, 28 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

 - Cardinal Christoph Schonborn O.P., archbishop of Vienna, Austria.

  On Saturday 26 June he received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City.

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

 - Reverend Ishmael Noko, secretary general of the World Lutheran Federation, accompanied by his wife.
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VATICAN CITY, 28 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Jakarta, Indonesia, presented by Cardinal Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja, S.J., upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo.

 - Appointed Bishop Giacomo Lanzetti of Alghero-Bosa, Italy, as bishop of Alba (area, 1,050, population, 128,000, Catholics, 125,000, priests, 152, permanent deacons, 5, religious, 355), Italy. He succeeds Bishop Sebastiano Dho, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  On Saturday 26 June it was made public that he appointed:

 - As members of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See: Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru, and Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, Spain..

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, as his special envoy to the fifteenth centenary celebrations of the Marian shrine of Mary of Grace, Our Lady of Mentorella in the Italian diocese of Tivoli, which are due to be held on 29 August.
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