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Wednesday, November 3, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 30 OCT 2010 (VIS) - In St. Peter's Square this morning, Benedict XVI met with 100,000 children and young people from Italian Catholic Action who are participating in a national meeting on the theme: "There is something more: Let us grow up together".

  The Pope replied to three questions put to him by a boy from Catholic Action, a young man and a school teacher.

  To the first question - "What does it mean to grow up? What must I do to grow up while following Jesus?" - the Holy Father replied by recalling his own youth. "I wanted to do something grand, to make more of my life", he said. "Being 'grown up' means loving Jesus, listening to Him and speaking with Him in prayer, meeting Him in the Sacraments, in Mass and Confession; it means ever greater knowledge of Him, and making Him known to others; it means being with one's friends, even the poor and sick, so as to grow together".

  To the second question - "What does it mean to love unto the end? How can we learn to love authentically?" - the Pope said: "This is a vital question. It is very important, I would say fundamental, to learn to love, to love truly, to learn the art of true love. ... You will grow up if you are capable of making your life a gift to others; not seeking yourself but giving yourself to others. ... You cannot and must not make do with a love reduced to a commodity, to be consumed with no respect for self or for others, incapable of chastity and purity. That is not freedom. A lot of the 'love' presented by the media and on the internet is not love but selfishness and closure. ... It binds you like a chain suffocating the most beautiful thoughts and feelings, the true impulses of the heart, that unquenchable force which is love and which finds in Jesus its highest expression, and in the Holy Spirit the strength and the fire to ignite your life, thoughts and affections. Of course it also takes some sacrifice to love truly - without sacrifice you cannot follow this path - but I am sure you are not afraid of the fatigue of a demanding and authentic love. It is the only thing which, in the final analysis, brings true happiness".

  The third question was: "What does it mean to be teachers today? How can we face the difficulties we meet in our service? How can we ensure that everyone takes responsibility for the present and the future of the new generations?"

  Benedict XVI replied by highlighting how "Being an educator means having joy in one's heart and communicating it to everyone so as to make life good and beautiful; it means providing reasons and goals for life's journey, presenting the beauty of the person of Jesus and making people love Him, His lifestyle, His freedom. ... Above all it means holding up the goal of ... that 'extra' that comes to us from God. This requires personal knowledge of Jesus, a personal, daily and loving contact with Him in prayer, meditation on the Word of God, faithfulness to the Sacraments, the Eucharist, Confession; it means communicating the joy of being part of the Church, of having friends with whom to share, not only the difficulties but also the beauties and surprises of a life of faith".

  "You will be good educators if you are able to involve everyone in the good of the young. You cannot be self-sufficient but must make the vital importance of educating the young generations felt at all levels. Without the presence of the family, for example, you risk building on sand; without a collaboration with schools it is not possible to create a profound knowledge of the faith; without the involvement of the those who work in the sector of leisure and communication your patient efforts risk being unproductive and ineffective in daily life. I am sure that Catholic Action is well rooted in the community and has the courage to be light and salt. Your presence here this morning tells not only me but everyone that education is possible, that it is tiring but beautiful to enthuse young people and children. Have the courage and audacity to ensure that no sector is deprived of Jesus, of His tenderness which you bring to everyone, especially the neediest and abandoned, through your mission as educators".

  The Pope concluded his remarks by inviting those present to remain faithful "to the identity and goals of Catholic Action".
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VATICAN CITY, 30 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 - Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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VATICAN CITY, 31 OCT 2010 (VIS) - Today at midday, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  "Luke the Evangelist dedicates particular attention to the subject of Jesus' mercy", said the Pope commenting on today's Gospel readings. "In his account, in fact, we find a number of episodes that highlight the merciful love of God, and of Christ Who affirms that He has come to call not the righteous but sinners", as in the case of Zaccheus the publican, collector of the taxes the Jews paid to the Romans and thus considered a great sinner.

  For this reason Jesus aroused great scandal for staying with Zaccheus when He passed through Jericho. "Nonetheless, the Lord well knew what He was doing. He, so to speak, chose to risk, and He won the bet: Zaccheus was profoundly touched by Jesus' visit and decided to change life, promising to restore four times what he had stolen".

  "God excludes no-one, neither rich or poor. God does not allow Himself to be conditioned by our human prejudices but sees in everyone a soul to be saved, and He is especially attracted by those who are considered lost, or who consider themselves to be so. Jesus Christ, the incarnation of God, showed this immense mercy, which takes nothing from the gravity of the sin but always seeks to save the sinner, to offer him a chance to redeem, to start again, to convert".

  "Zaccheus accepted Jesus and converted, because Jesus had first accepted Him. Jesus did not condemn him but accommodated his desire for salvation. Let us pray to the Virgin Mary ... that we too may experience the joy of being visited by the Son of God, ... and transmit His mercy to others", the Pope concluded.

  After praying the Angelus, Benedict XVI recalled how yesterday in the cathedral of Oradea Mare in Romania, Cardinal Peter Erdo proclaimed as blessed Szilard Bogdanffy, bishop and martyr. "In 1948, when he was thirty-eight years old", said the Pope, "he was clandestinely consecrated as a bishop, and shortly afterwards arrested by the communist regime of his country, with the accusation of conspiracy. After four years of suffering and humiliation, he died in prison. Let us give thanks to God for this heroic pastor of the Church who followed the Lamb unto death. May his witness bring comfort to those who are suffering for the Gospel today".
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VATICAN CITY, 1 NOV 2010 (VIS) - On today's Solemnity of All Saints, which "invites us to raise our gaze to heaven and meditate on the fullness of divine life which awaits us", the Holy Father prayed the Angelus with thousands of faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  "Sanctity, impressing Christ into one's own self, is the goal of Christian life", said Pope Benedict. "We have a foretaste of the gift and beauty of sanctity each time we participate in the Eucharistic liturgy, in communion with that 'immense multitude' of blessed spirits who are in heaven eternally acclaiming the salvation of God and the Lamb. 'The lives of the saints are not limited to their earthly biographies but also include their being and working in God after death. In the saints one thing becomes clear: those who draw near to God do not withdraw from men, but rather become truly close to them'.

  "Consoled by this communion of the great family of saints", he added, "tomorrow we will commemorate All Souls Day. The liturgy of 2 November and the pious practice of visiting cemeteries reminds us that Christian death is part of the journey of assimilation to God, and will disappear when God becomes everything in everyone. Separation from our earthly affections is certainly painful, but we must nor fear it because, accompanied by the prayer of the Church, it cannot break the profound bond that unites us in Christ".

  Following the Marian prayer the Pope spoke of the attack on the Syro-Catholic cathedral of Baghdad on 31 October which caused many injuries and deaths, including two priests and a group of faithful attending Sunday Mass.

  "I pray for the victims of this absurd violence, all the more ferocious because it targeted defenceless people gathered in the house of God, which is a house of love and reconciliation. I express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, which has been struck once again, and encourage pastors and faithful to be strong and united in hope. In the face of such cruel episodes of violence, which continue to afflict the people of the Middle East, I would like to renew my heartfelt appeal for peace. Peace is a gift of God, but also the result of the efforts of men and women of goodwill, of national and international institutions. May everyone unite their efforts to put an end to all violence".
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VATICAN CITY, 2 NOV 2010 (VIS) - As is traditional on All Souls Day, at 6 p.m. today Benedict XVI went down to the grottos of the Vatican Basilica to pray privately for the Popes buried there, and for all the deceased.
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VATICAN CITY, 3 NOV 2010 (VIS) - In today's general audience, which was held in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope dedicated his attention to Margaret d'Oingt, who was born in 1240 "to a powerful family of old Lyonese nobility".

  From her writings, said the Pope, "we learn that she entered the Carthusian convent of Poleteins in response to the Lord's call, abandoning everything and accepting the severe Carthusian rule in order to be completely and always with the Lord".

  "We know that in 1288 she became the fourth prioress, a position she held until her death on 11 February 1310. Her writings reveal no particular details of her spiritual itinerary. She conceived of life as a journey of purification leading to full configuration with Christ. He is the book that must be written and inscribed into one's heart and life every day, especially His salvific passion".

  "Through her writings, Margaret offers us some glimpses of her spirituality, enabling us to comprehend certain traits of her personality and her gifts of leadership. ... She lived a life rich in mystical experiences which she described with simplicity, hinting at the ineffable mystery of God while underlining the limits of the mind to understand it and of the human tongue to express it".

  "In the dynamism of her mystical life, Margaret particularly appreciated the experience of the natural affections, purified by grace, as a privileged means for a deeper understanding and a more ready acceptance of divine action. ... The Triune God, the God love which is revealed in Christ, fascinated her, and Margaret experienced a relationship of profound love towards the Lord. By contrast, she was also aware of human ingratitude and baseness, even unto the paradox of the cross".

  Benedict XVI concluded by encouraging people to follow Margaret of Oingt's invitation "to meditate daily on Jesus' life of pain and love, and that of His Mother, Mary. This is where our hope, the meaning of our existence, lies. From the contemplation of Christ's love for us arise the strength and the joy to respond with the same love, placing our lives at the service of God and of others".
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VATICAN CITY, 3 NOV 2010 (VIS) - "I invite you to accompany me with your fervent prayers this weekend as I make a pastoral visit to Santiago de Compostela, joining the pilgrims who are coming to the feet of the Apostle in this Holy Year", said the Pope in remarks to Spanish-speaking pilgrims at the end of today's general audience.

  "I will also go to Barcelona", he went on, "where I will have the joy of dedicating the magnificent church of the 'Sagrada Familia', work of the great architect Antoni Gaudi. I am going as a witness of the Risen Christ, with the desire of bringing His Word to everyone, that they may find light to live with dignity and hope to build a better world".
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VATICAN CITY, 3 NOV 2010 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office at midday today a preference was held to present the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture, which is due to be held from 10 to 13 November on the theme: "The Culture of Communication and New Languages".

  Participating in today's press conference were Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, Msgr. Pasquale Iacobone and Richard Rouse, respectively president, head of the "Art and Faith" department, and head of the "Communication and Languages" department of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller of Regensburg, Germany, who is a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

  Msgr. Iacobone explained how the plenary will examine "the use of language and communication to study the current situation and suggest guidelines for action in the evangelising mission of the Church".

  The participants in the plenary will discuss "the new languages, in particular cinema, music, figurative and plastic arts, the internet and multimedia platforms, in order to discover the words, colours, sounds and images capable of presenting Christian life as a valid experience for everyone today.

  "In order to favour inter-personal communication there will be no written texts to read or follow but conversations with experts such as Ennio Morricone, Dario Vigano, Robert Barron and the managing director of Microsoft Italia". Msgr. Iacobone explained.

  The plenary will also serve to examine "the characteristics of interactivity and participation, of clarity and simplicity - while avoiding simplification - and to study figurative and narrative languages in order to transmit to our fellows what we have received".

  Bishop Muller then presented the twelfth German-language volume of Joseph Ratzinger's "Opera Omina", entitled "Kunder des Wortes und Diener eurer Freude - Theologie und Spiritualitat des Weihesakramentes" (Announcers of the Word and Servants of your Joy. Theology and Spirituality of the Sacrament of Holy Orders).

  Bishop Muller, who is overseeing the publication of the complete works of Joseph Ratzinger, explained how the contents of this latest volume cover nearly half a century, beginning with a number of texts which predate by some years the opening of Vatican Council II. "That fundamental event in recent ecclesiastical history is usually associated, depending on the point of view, with the beginning of a transformation in keeping with the spirit of the times, or with a profound crisis in the Church and particularly in the priesthood", he said.

  In section "A" of the book, entitled "Theology of the Sacrament of Holy Orders", Joseph Ratzinger analyses the causes of this crisis and "illustrates the biblical foundation and coherent historical-dogmatic development of the Sacrament of Holy Orders". In section "B", entitled "Servants of your Joy", readers will find "a collection of meditations on spirituality already published as an individual book with the same title". Section "C" contains "various homilies delivered on the occasion of consecrations of priests and deacons, first Masses and jubilees".

  "In order to rediscover priestly identity in the relationship with Christ we must be ready to consider ourselves as servants of the Word and witnesses of God in the succession of Christ, and to live in communion with Him. To this end, the priest must have a good theological formation and a permanent reference in academic theology".

  With the writings in this book Joseph Ratzinger "indicates the way out of the crisis into which the Catholic priesthood has fallen as a result of inadequate theological and sociological approaches, and of declarations that tend to arouse in many priests who began their journey with love and zeal, a sense of insecurity and discomfort concerning their role within the Church". This volume, Bishop Muller concluded, "achieves the desire of its author to dedicate an entire book of his complete works to the theology of the Sacrament of Holy Orders".
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VATICAN CITY, 3 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Msgr. Xavier Novell Goma, bursar of Solsona, Spain, as bishop of the same diocese (area 3,536, population 138,911, Catholics 127,798, priests 115, permanent deacons 1, religious 242). The bishop-elect was born in Lleida, Spain in 1969 and ordained a priest in 1997. He succeeds Bishop Jaume Traserra Cunillera, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Confirmed Bishop Domenico Sigalini of Palestrina, Italy as general ecclesiastical assistant of Italian Catholic Action.

 - Appointed as consultors of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments: Msgr. Jose Aparecido Goncalves de Almeida, under secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Fr. Dieter Bohler S.J., professor at the Sankt-Gerogen Theological Faculty in Frankfurt, Germany; Fr. Nicola Bux, of the clergy of the archdiocese of Bari-Bitonto, Italy, professor at the St. Nicholas Institute of Greek Byzantine Ecumenical-Patristic Theology; Fr. Joseph Carola S.J., professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University; Fr. Jose Manuel Garcia Cordeiro, rector of the Pontifical Portuguese College and professor at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Rome's St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum; Fr. Renato De Zan, professor at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Rome's St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum; Fr. Cassian Folsom O.S.B., prior of Noricia, Italy, and associate professor at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Rome's St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum; Fr. Marco Gagliardi, professor at Rome's "Regina Apostolorum" Pontifical Athenaeum; Fr. Aurelio Garcia Macias of the clergy of that archdiocese of Valladolid, Spain, president of the Spanish Association of Professors of Liturgy; Msgr. Angelo Lameri of the clergy of the diocese of Crema, Italy, professor at Rome's Pontifical Lateran University; Fr. Dennis McManus of the clergy of the archdiocese of Mobiile, U.S.A., professor at the Catholic University of America; Fr. Juan Jose Silvestre, professor at Rome's Pontifical University of the Holy Cross; Fr. Michael John Zielinski O.S.B. Oliv., vice president of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church and of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, and Msgr. Markus Walser, vicar general of the archdiocese of Vaduz, Lichtenstein.

 - Appointed Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, Germany, president of "Adveniat" Episcopal Action, as a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

  On Saturday 30 October it was made public that he:

 - Appointed Msgr. Blaise Nzeyimana, vicar general of the archdiocese of Gitega, Burundi, as bishop of Ruyigi (area 4,303, population 524,549, Catholics 368,928, priests 48, religious 111), Burundi. The bishop-elect was born in Butare, Rwanda in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1981. He succeeds Bishop Joseph Nduhirubusa, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the apostolic vicariate of San Miguel de Sucumbios, Ecuador, presented by Bishop Gonzalo Lopez Maranon O.C.D., upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Msgr. Jan Sobilo, vicar general of the diocese of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia of the Latins, Ukraine, as auxiliary of the same diocese (area 196,300, population 19,013,600, Catholics 62,405, priests 55, religious 96). The bishop-elect was born in Nisko, Poland in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1986.
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