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Thursday, November 4, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 4 NOV 2010 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Basilica the Pope presided at the traditional November Mass for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died over the course of the year. Members of the College of Cardinals concelebrated with the Holy Father.

  At the beginning of his homily, Benedict XVI recalled the names of the cardinals who passed away during the last twelve months - Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi, Cahal Brendan Daly, Armand Gaetan Razafindratandra, Tomas Spidlik S.J., Paul Augustin Mayer O.S.B. and Luigi Poggi - expressing his affection for them and for all the other archbishops and bishops who died this year.

  "We wish to remember these our venerable brothers as zealous pastors whose ministry was always inscribed in that eschatological horizon, which encourages hope in the unblemished happiness we have been promised after this life, as witnesses of the Gospel, ... as Christians, animated by profound faith and by the living desire to conform ourselves to Jesus".

  The Holy Father then went on to observe that the term "eternal life" designates "the divine gift granted to humankind; i.e., communion with God in this world and its fullness in the next. Eternal life was opened to us by Christ's Paschal Mystery and faith is the way to attain it". Referring then to Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus, as recounted in today's Gospel, the Pope explained how in this exchange Jesus "reveals the most profound meaning of the event of salvation: ... The Son of man must be raised on the wood of the cross so that those who believe in Him might have life. ... The cross, paradoxically, from being a sign of condemnation, death and failure, becomes a sign of redemption, life and victory in which, with the eyes of faith, we can see the fruits of salvation".

  The salvific significance of the cross "consists in the immense love of God and in the gift of His only-begotten Son. ... The verbs 'to love' and 'to give' indicate a decisive and definitive action expressing the radical way in which God approached man in love, even unto the total giving of self, ... lowering Himself into the abyss of our utter abandonment, and crossing the portal of death. The object and beneficiary of divine Love is the world, in other words humanity. This completely cancels the idea of a distant God divorced from man's journey, and reveals His true face". God "loves without measure. He does not show His omnipotence in punishment, but in mercy and forgiveness".

  The Holy Father concluded his homily: "Jesus came to save, not to condemn. With the sacrifice of the cross, He revealed the face of God's love. And it is precisely because of our faith in the superabundant love Jesus Christ gave us that we know that even the smallest effort of love is greater that the most powerful destructive force and can transform the world. And because of this same faith we have a 'sure hope': in eternal live and in the resurrection of the flesh".
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VATICAN CITY, 4 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Pope addressed to Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan, Italy, marking the fourth centenary of the canonisation of St. Charles Borromeo, on 1 November 1610.

  "The time in which Charles Borromeo lived was a very delicate one for Christianity", writes the Pope. "In a period obscured by many trials facing the Christian community, with divisions and doctrinal confusion, the clouding of the purity of faith and custom, and the bad example of many sacred ministers, Charles Borromeo did not limit himself to deploring and condemning, nor simply to expressing hope that others would change; rather, he began to reform his own life".

  St. Charles "was aware that serious and credible reform had to begin with pastors". To this end he focused on "the centrality of the Eucharist, ... the spirituality of the cross, ... assiduous participation in the Sacraments, ... the Word of God, ... and love and devotion for the Supreme Pontiff, readily and filially obedient to his directives as a guarantee of true and complete ecclesial communion".

  "May St. Charles encourage us always to begin with a serious commitment to personal conversion", writes the Holy Father, going on to encourage priests and deacons "to make of their lives a courageous path of sanctity" and expressing the hope that the Church in Milan may always find in her ministers "a clear faith and a sober and pure life, renewing that apostolic ardour which characterised St. Ambrose, St. Charles and so many of your holy pastors".

  "St. Charles was recognised", Benedict XVI continues, "as a true loving father to the poor. ... He founded institutions for the assistance and recovery of those in need. ... During the plague of 1576, the saintly archbishop chose to remain among his people to encourage, serve and defend them with the weapons of prayer, penance and love".

  The Pope highlights how "St. Charles Borromeo's charity cannot be understood without an understanding of his relationship of passionate love with the Lord Jesus". In this context the Holy Father refers to "the contemplation of the holy mystery of the altar and the Crucified Christ" which awakened the saint's "feelings of compassion for man's misery and aroused in his heart the apostolic longing to bring the evangelical message to everyone".

  "Let us make the Eucharist the true centre of our communities, let us allow ourselves to be educated and moulded by that well of charity. Each apostolic and charitable action will draw strength and fruitfulness from that source".

  The Holy Father concludes his Message with an appeal to young people: "Like St. Charles, you too are can make your youth an offering to Christ and your fellows. ... Dear young people, you are not only the hope of the Church, you are part of her present moment. And if you have the courage to believe in sanctity, you will become the greatest treasure of your Ambrosian Church, which is built upon saints".
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VATICAN CITY, 4 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Pope has sent a Message to Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, to mark that body's plenary assembly which is currently benign held in Rome. The assembly is focusing on how the Encyclical "Caritas in veritate" has been received in various communities.

  "Only with charity, supported by hope and illuminated by the light of faith and reason, is it possible to achieve the goals of the integral liberation of man and universal justice", the Holy Father writes.

  Referring to the "fundamental problems affecting the destiny of peoples and of world institutions, as well as of the human family", which are examined in "Caritas in veritate", Benedict XVI points out that social and national inequalities "have by no means disappeared. ... Co-ordination among States - which is often inadequate because, rather than aiming to achieve solidarity, it aims only at a balance of power - leaves the field open to renewed inequalities, to the danger of the predominance of economic and financial groups which dictate - and intend to continue to do so - the political agenda at the expense of the universal common good".

  The Holy Father stresses the urgent need "for commitment to educating Catholic laity in Church social doctrine". Lay Catholics "must undertake to promote the correct ordering of social life, while respecting the legitimate autonomy of worldly institutions".

  "A profound understanding of the social doctrine of the Church is of fundamental importance, in harmony with all her theological heritage and strongly rooted in affirming the transcendent dignity of man, in defending human life from conception to natural death and in religious freedom. ... It is necessary to prepare lay people capable of dedicating themselves to the common good, especially in complex environments such as the world of politics".

  The Pope concludes his Message by expressing the hope that the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace may continue "to prepare fresh 'aggiornamenti' of Church social doctrine". In order to globalise this doctrine, he writes, "it may be appropriate to create centres and institutions for its study, dissemination and implementation throughout the world".

  "In collaboration with others, seek more effective ways to transmit the contents of social doctrine, not only in the traditional itineraries of Christian formation and education of all kinds and at all levels, but also in the great centres where world thought is forged - such as the organs of the lay press, universities and economic and social study centres - which in recent times have come into being in every corner of the earth".
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VATICAN CITY, 4 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Made public today was a message sent in the Pope's name by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. to Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, archbishop of San Cristobal de La Habana, Cuba, for the opening a new headquarters of the archdiocesan seminary of St. Charles and St. Ambrose.

  In the text the Holy Father expresses the hope that the new inauguration may be, "at one and the same time, a sign and a stimulus for a renewed commitment to strive for the careful human, spiritual and academic preparation of the those who, in that institution, ready themselves for the priestly ministry".

  The Pope invites the seminarians "increasingly to identify themselves with the sentiments of Christ the Good Shepherd, through assiduous prayer, serious dedication to study, humbly listening to the divine word, dignified celebration of the Sacraments, and courageous witness of His love as authentic disciples and missionaries of the Gospel of salvation".

  The Holy Father "entrusts the entire community of this educational institution to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary who, with the title of Our Lady of Charity, is fervently invoked by the beloved nation of Cuba".
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VATICAN CITY, 4 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Given below is the complete text of the English-language version of a circular letter issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, dated 2 October and signed by Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the congregation. The letter was published today by "L'Osservatore Romano" and concerns the current doctrinal and canonical position of the association known as "Opus Angelorum".

  More than thirty years ago, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith began to examine the theories and practices of the association called Opus Angelorum (Engelwerk). At the present time, the dicastery believes that it would be helpful for the bishops of [episcopal conferences] to be informed regarding the developments which have taken place in these years, so that they may exercise effective oversight in this area.

  I. The initial examination was brought to a conclusion with the publication of a letter on 24 September 1982, communicating certain decisions approved by the Holy Father (AAS 76 [1984], 175-176); this letter was followed by a Decree entitled 'Litteris diei' of 6 June 1992 (AAS 84 [1992], 805-806).

  In essence, these two documents stated that, in promoting devotion to the Holy Angels, the members of the Opus Angelorum were to follow the doctrine of the Church and the teaching of the Church Fathers and Doctors. In particular, the members were not to make use of the "names" of angels derived from the alleged private revelations attributed to Mrs. Gabriele Bitterlich and they were not to teach, spread or make use of the theories originating from these alleged revelations. Furthermore, they were reminded of the duty to follow strictly all liturgical laws, in particular those relating to the Holy Eucharist. The Decree of 1992 entrusted the implementation of these measures to a delegate named by the Holy See and possessing special faculties; he was also given the task of regularising the relationship between the Opus Angelorum and the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross.

  In the years that followed, the delegate, Fr. Benoit Duroux O.P., successfully completed the work entrusted to him. Today, thanks to the obedience of its members, the Opus Angelorum can be considered to be living loyally and serenely in conformity with the doctrine of the Church and with canonical and liturgical law. On 13 March 2010, given the advanced age of Fr. Duroux, Fr. Daniel Ols O.P. was named delegate, with the same powers as described in the Decree of 1992.

  The process of normalisation can be seen in particular in the following elements. On 31 May 2000, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith approved the formula of a consecration to the Holy Angels for the Opus Angelorum. Having received the positive opinion of this dicastery, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life approved the "Statutes of the Opus Sanctorum Angelorum", in which, among other things, the relationship between the Opus Angelorum and the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross was defined. According to the Statutes, the Opus Angelorum is a public association of the Catholic Church with juridical personality according to the norm of canon 313 of the CIC; it is joined to the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross according to the norm of canon 677, para. 2 of the CIC and placed under the direction of the Order in conformity with canon 303 of the CIC. The Constitutions of the Sisters of the Holy Cross were approved by the bishop of Innsbruck. Finally, the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross, whose central government had been named by the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life on 30 October 1993, was able at the beginning of 2009 to elect its own superior general and the members of the general council.

  Therefore, in its present state, the Opus Angelorum is a public association of the Church in conformity with traditional doctrine and with the directives of the Holy See. It spreads devotion to the Holy Angels among the faithful, exhorts them to pray for priests, and promotes love for Christ in His Passion and union with it. Therefore, there are no remaining obstacles of a doctrinal and disciplinary kind which would prevent local ordinaries from receiving this movement into their dioceses and promoting its development.

  II. At the same time, however, the congregation wishes to draw the attention of ordinaries to the fact that, in the course of these years, a certain number of Opus Angelorum members, including some priests who either left or were expelled from the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross, have not accepted the norms given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and seek to restore what, according to them, would be the "authentic Opus Angelorum", that is, a movement which professes and practices all those things which were forbidden by the above-mentioned documents. The congregation has learned that very discrete propaganda in favour of this wayward movement, which is outside of any ecclesiastical control, is taking place, aimed at presenting it as if it were in full communion with the Catholic Church.

  The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, therefore, asks ordinaries to be vigilant with regard to such activities, disruptive as they are of ecclesial communion, and to forbid them if they are present within their dioceses.
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VATICAN CITY, 4 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Parakou, Benin, presented by Archbishop Fidele Agbatchi, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

 - Appointed Bishop Juan Alberto Puiggari of Mar del Plata, Argentina, as archbishop of Parana (area 30,348, population 578,000, Catholics 520,200, priests 144, religious 170), Argentina. The archbishop-elect was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1949, he was ordained a priest in 1976 and consecrated a bishop in 1998. He succeeds Archbishop Mario Luis Bautista Maulion, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Thaddeus Cho Hwan-kil, auxiliary and diocesan administrator of the archdiocese of Daegu, Korea, as archbishop of the same archdiocese (area 9,128, population 4,469,943, Catholics 442,794, priests 382, religious 1,187). The archbishop-elect was born in Hwa-Won, Korea in 1954, he was ordained a priest in 1981 and consecrated a bishop in 2007.
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