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Monday, July 12, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 10 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The forty-fifth meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organisational and Economic Problems of the Holy See was held in the Vatican from 7 to 9 July, under the presidency of Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.

  A communique published this afternoon explains that the Holy See consolidated financial statements for 2009, presented to the cardinals during the meeting by Archbishop Velasio De Paolis C.S., president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, show a deficit of 4,102,156 euro, the difference between an income of 250,182,364 euro and outgoings of 254,284,520 euro.

  The outgoings are due above all to the ordinary and extraordinary expenses of the dicasteries and offices of the Holy See, which employ 2,762 people of whom 766 are ecclesiastics, 344 religious and 1,652 lay people.

  The meeting also examined the consolidated financial statements of the Governorate of Vatican City State for 2009, which show a deficit of 7,815,183 euro. This represents an improvement with respect to last year which showed a loss of more than 15 million euro. A total of 1,891 people work under the jurisdiction of the Governorate.

  The communique highlights "the considerable economic and financial burden of protecting, evaluating and restoring the artistic heritage of the Holy See (major restoration work on the Colonnade of St. Peter's Square, and work on the papal basilicas of St. John Lateran, St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls and St. Mary Major). Equally high costs were sustained for the internal security of Vatican City State and for important restructuring work in the Vatican Apostolic Library, which is due to reopen this September".

  Finally the consolidated financial statements of Peter's Pence were also presented. This fund consists of offers made to the Holy Father by the particular Churches, especially for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, and contributions by institutes of consecrated life, societies of apostolic life, foundations and various members of the faithful. In 2009 a total of 65,688,141 euro was raised, an increase with respect to last year. "The largest contributions in 2009 came from Catholics in the United States, Italy and France. Particularly significant, considering the number of Catholics, were the contributions from Korea and Japan".

  Bishops, depending on their resources and in keeping with canon 1271 of the Code of Canon Law, donated 25,066,541 euro. The largest donations came from dioceses in the United States, followed by those of Germany.

  The communique concludes by noting that the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) donated some 50 million euros for the activities of the Holy Father.
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VATICAN CITY, 11 JUL 2010 (VIS) - At midday today the Holy Father appeared at the balcony overlooking the inner courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo to pray the Angelus with pilgrims gathered there. He is currently spending a period of rest at Castelgandolfo, his summer residence.

  Commenting on today's Gospel reading, the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Holy Father affirmed that "it is up to us to be close to whoever needs help. The Samaritan", he said, "takes responsibility for the needs of a stranger whom robbers had left half dead at the roadside, while a priest and a Levite pass by on the other side, afraid perhaps that - as the precept said - they would be contaminated by contact with blood.

  "This parable must, then", the Pope added, "lead us to transform our logic in accordance with the logic of Christ, which is the logic of charity: God is love and to worship Him means to serve our brothers and sisters with sincere and generous love".

  Benedict XVI went on: "This Gospel episode presents us a criterion to use as a measure; that of 'universal love towards the needy whom we encounter by chance, whoever they may be'. Along with this universal rule, there is also a specifically ecclesial requirement; that 'within the ecclesial family no member should suffer through being in need'. The rule Christians follow, as learned from the teaching of Jesus, is that of the 'heart which sees' where there is need of love and acts accordingly".

  Finally, the Holy Father noted that today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Benedict of Norcia , patron of his own pontificate and "father and legislator of Western monasticism" whom Paul VI proclaimed as patron of Europe in 1964, "recognising his great efforts towards the formation of European civilisation.

  "Let us entrust our journey of faith, and this holiday period in particular, to the Virgin, that our hearts may never lose sight of the Word of God and of our brothers and sisters in difficulty", he concluded.
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VATICAN CITY, 12 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Antonios Chouweifaty as adjunct promoter of justice at the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.

  On Saturday 10 July it was made public that he accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Carapegua, Paraguay, presented by Bishop Celso Yegros Estigarribia, upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Joaquin Hermes Robledo Romero.
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