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Thursday, October 7, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 7 OCT 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI today received the Letters of Credence of Fernando Zegers Santa Cruz, the new ambassador of Chile to the Holy See. He began his address to the diplomat by expressing his closeness to the Chilean people following February's earthquake, and he recalled "the immense efforts being made by the Chilean Catholic Church, many of whose communities were also badly affected by the quake, to help people most in need. ... Nor can I forget", he continued, "the miners of the Atacama region and their loved ones, for whom I continue to pray fervently".

  Going on then to observe that the new ambassador is beginning his mission in the year in which Chile celebrates the bicentenary of its independence, the Pope said: "Many are the fruits the Gospel has produced in that blessed land: abundant fruits of sanctity, charity, human promotion, and of constant striving for peace and coexistence". In this context he also recalled last year's celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship with Argentina which, "with pontifical mediation, put an end to that dispute in the southern hemisphere", he said.

  "That historical agreement", the Holy Father proceeded, "will remain for future generations as a shining example of the immense benefits that peace brings, and of the importance of preserving and encouraging the moral and religious values that constitute the most intimate fabric of a people's soul. We cannot hope to explain the triumph of this longing for peace, harmony and understanding without bearing in mind how deep the seed of the Gospel has taken root in the hearts of Chileans".

  "It is very important, and even more so in present circumstances in which so many challenges threaten cultural identity, to encourage, especially among the young, a healthy pride and a renewed appreciation and reappraisal for their faith, history, culture, traditions and artistic heritage, and for everything that constitutes the best and richest spiritual and human patrimony of Chile".

  At this point Benedict XVI also noted how, "although Church and State are independent and autonomous, each in its own field, they are both called to loyal and respectful collaboration in order to serve the personal and social vocation of the same people. In carrying out her specific mission to announce the good news of Jesus Christ, the Church seeks to respond to man's expectations and doubts, while at the same time drawing on those ethical and anthropological values and principles which are inscribed in the nature of human beings".

  "When the Church raises her voice on the great challenges and problems of the present time - such as wars, hunger, widespread extreme poverty, the defence of human life from conception until natural end, or the promotion of the family founded on marriage between a man and woman, primary educator of children - she is not acting out of special interest or of principles perceptible only to people who profess a particular religious faith. Respecting the rules of democratic coexistence, the Church does this for the good of all society, and in the name of values that everyone can share", the Holy Father concluded.
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VATICAN CITY, 7 OCT 2010 (VIS) - At midday today the Holy Father received participants in a congress on the Catholic press promoted by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. The congress has been taking place this week in Rome.

  Addressing the participants, who come from eighty-five different countries, the Pope referred to two specific aspects of the role of the Catholic press. On the one hand, he said, "there is the specific nature of the medium: the press; i.e., the written word and its importance and effectiveness in a society which has seen the burgeoning of dish antennae and satellites. ... On the other hand, the 'Catholic' connotation with all its attendant responsibility of remaining explicitly and substantially faithful, through daily commitment to following the path of truth.

  "Catholic journalists must seek the truth with impassioned minds and hearts", he added, "but also with the professionalism of competent workers equipped with adequate and efficient means".

  After then highlighting "the ever increasing importance of image in the world", Benedict XVI noted that, "although this undoubtedly has positive aspects, image can also become detached from reality and give rise to a virtual world. This has various consequences, the first of them being the risk of indifference towards what is real".

  "Moreover, the transmission of an event, be it happy or sad, can be presented as a mere spectacle and not as an occasion for reflection. ... These aspects ... invite us to consider the danger that the virtual world may distance us from the real world and not stimulate us to seek reality, to seek the truth".

  The Pope went on: "In this context, the Catholic press is called ... to give full expression to its potential and, day by day, to give the reasons for its indispensable mission. ... The Christian faith shares a fundamental structure with communication: the fact that the means and the message coincide. Indeed the Son of God, the Word incarnate, is, at one and the same time, the message of salvation and the means though which salvation is achieved. This is not a mere concept but a reality accessible to everyone".

  "The Word of God came to man and was handed down to us though a book: the Bible. The word remains the fundamental and, in a certain sense, the essential instrument of communication. It is used in various forms today, and even in our image-driven society' it still maintains all its value".

  "Christians cannot ignore the crisis of faith that has invested society, or simply hope that the heritage of values handed down over past centuries may continue to inspire and mould the future of the human family. The idea of living 'as if God does not exist' has revealed itself to be harmful. Rather, the world needs to live 'as if God does exist', ... otherwise all it produces is 'inhuman humanism'".

  Recalling then how people who work in the communications media must "always put God at the top of their scale of values", Benedict XVI concluded by affirming that the task of the Catholic press is "to help modern man to turn to Christ, the one Saviour, and to keep the flame of hope alight in the world, so as worthily to live today and adequately to build the future. For this reason I exhort you constantly to renew your personal choice for Christ, drawing on those spiritual resources which, though undervalued by the modern mentality, remain valuable, indeed, indispensable".
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VATICAN CITY, 7 OCT 2010 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present a forthcoming congress marking the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. The congress is due to take place on 8 and 9 October.

  Participating in today's press conference were Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Archbishop Cyril Vasil S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, and Fr. Michael J. Kuchera, dean of the Faculty of Eastern Canon Law at the Pontifical Oriental Institute.

  In his remarks Archbishop Coccopalmerio explained how the congress is being organised by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts in collaboration with the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Pontifical Oriental Institute. The meeting, he said, will be divided into three sections each of which will deal with one of three major themes: the historical evolution of Eastern Canon Law, the legislative activity of the Eastern Churches, and the ecumenical aspects of Eastern Canon Law.

  The congress will be attended more than four hundred participants, including experts, canon lawyers, professors and students. Representatives from the Orthodox world will also be present, as will members of other Churches and of non-Christian confessions.

  The congress will come to an end on Saturday 9 October when the participants are due to be received in audience by the Holy Father.
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VATICAN CITY, 7 OCT 2010 (VIS) - At midday today the Holy See Press Office published the following English-language communique:

  "On 5 October the prefect and the secretary of the Congregation for Bishops and representatives from the Holy See held a preparatory meeting in Rome with the apostolic visitators named by the Holy Father for the Apostolic Visitation to the four metropolitan archdioceses of Ireland: Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop emeritus of Westminster, England; Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley O.F.M. Cap., archbishop of Boston, U.S.A.; Archbishop Thomas C. Collins of Toronto, Canada, and Archbishop Terrence T. Prendergast S.J. of Ottawa, Canada.

  "Mindful of the tragic abuse of children that has taken place in Ireland, the participants discussed the particular aspects of this important Visitation. Pastoral in nature, the Visitation 'is intended to assist the local Church on her path of renewal' and is a sign of the Holy Father's desire, as the Successor of Peter, to offer his pastoral solicitude to the Church in Ireland. The visitators will give particular attention to victims of abuse and their families, but will also meet with and listen to a variety of people, including ecclesiastical authorities, lay faithful and those involved with the crucial work of safeguarding of children.

  "On 6 October, as had been previously planned, Cardinal Sean B. Brady, archbishop of Armagh, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Archbishop Dermot Clifford of Cashel and Emly, and Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam, celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit together with the visitators and superiors from the Congregation for Bishops and the Secretariat of State. The meeting that followed, marked by fraternal warmth and mutual collaboration, summarised the discussions from the previous day and focused on the organisation of the Apostolic Visitation and the archdioceses involved.

  "All participants are hopeful that this significant endeavour will be an instrument of purification and healing for the Church in Ireland and help to restore the trust and hope of the faithful there".
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VATICAN CITY, 7 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".

 - Archbishop Ubaldo Ramon Santana Sequera F.M.I. of Maracaibo, Venezuela, president of the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela, accompanied by Archbishop Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo of Merida, first vice president; Archbishop Roberto Luckert Leon of Coro, second vice president; Bishop Jesus Gonzalez de Zarate, auxiliary of Caracas and secretary general of the episcopal conference; and by Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas.
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VATICAN CITY, 7 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, as prefect of the same congregation. He succeeds Cardinal Claudio Hummes O.F.M., whose resignation from the same office the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Archbishop Robert Sarah, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, as president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum". He succeeds Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, whose resignation from the same office the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Manizales, Colombia, presented by Archbishop Fabio Betancur Tirado, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Archbishop Gonzalo Restrepo Restrepo.
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