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Tuesday, November 9, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 9 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Pope to Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), for that institution's sixty-second general assembly, which is being held this week in Assisi, Italy.

  "St. Francis' evangelical life and his vocation to follow the path of the crucified Christ arose from his participation in Mass and his devoted reception of Holy Communion", writes the Pope. In this context he also highlights how "the sacred nature of the Eucharist means that it must be celebrated and adored with an awareness of the greatness, importance and effectiveness it has for Christian life. Yet it also requires purity, coherence and sanctity of life from each one of us, that we may become living witnesses of Christ's unique sacrifice of love".

  Referring then to the main question being examined by the CEI, the Italian translation of the third typical edition of the Roman Missal, the Holy Father notes how "all true reformers are, in fact, obedient to the faith. They do not move arbitrarily, they do not claim any discretional jurisdiction over rites. They are not masters but custodians of the treasure that was instituted by the Lord and entrusted to us. The entire Church is present in each liturgical act, and adhering to its form is a condition for the authenticity of the celebration".

  The progress of science and technology, he continues, "has often been at the expense of the foundations of Christianity, in which the rich history of the European continent has its roots. The moral sphere has been confined to the subjective field and God, when not denied outright, is in any case excluded from the public conscience".

  "In order to invert this tendency", Benedict XVI goes on, "a generic call to values is not enough, nor is an educational programme that contents itself with purely functional and fragmentary interventions, What is needed is a personal relationship of trust between active individuals, ... capable of taking up positions and of putting their own personal freedom into question.

  "For this reason", he adds, "your decision to remind everyone who cares about the city of man and the welfare of new generations of their education responsibilities seems particularly appropriate. This vital alliance can only start with a renewed closeness to families, recognising and supporting their primary role in education. It is in families that the face of a people is forged".

  The Holy Father concludes by exhorting the bishops "to value the liturgy as a perennial source for education in the good life of the Gospel. It introduces people to the meeting with Jesus Christ, Who with words and deeds constantly edifies the Church, moulding her in the profound concepts of listening, fraternity and mission".
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VATICAN CITY, 9 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, has sent a letter to the members of the college, and to the cardinals-elect, announcing that the Pope has invited them all to participate in a day of "reflection and prayer" due to be held in the Vatican's New Synod Hall on Friday 19 November.

  The day of prayer, which falls on the eve of the ordinary public consistory of 20 November, will focus on two themes. The first of these is the situation of religious freedom in the world and new challenges, with an introductory talk by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.

  The second theme for reflection will be the liturgy in the life of the Church today, with a preliminary contribution from Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

  Three other contributions are scheduled for the afternoon session: "Ten years on from 'Dominus Iesus" by Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; and "the Church's response to cases of sexual abuse" and "the Constitution 'Anglicanorum coetibus', both to be delivered by Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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VATICAN CITY, 9 NOV 2010 (VIS) - At 11.30 a.m. today a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present an exhibition entitled "Knowing the Vatican Library. A History Open to the Future". The exhibition is to be held in the Charlemagne Wing off St. Peter's Square from 11 November 2010 to 31 January 2011.

  Participating in today's presentation were Cardinal Raffaele Farina S.D.B., archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church; Msgr. Cesare Pasini and Ambrogio Maria Piazzoni, respectively prefect and vice prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library; Barbara Jatta, the organiser of the exhibition, and Fr. Cesare Atuire, director general of Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi.

  "The exhibition", Cardinal Farina explained, "aims to make the Vatican Library known to people who do not have the privilege of frequenting it. But it also seeks to make the broad range of its academic, cultural and artistic treasures better known to its regular users. ... Above all it wishes to expose people to the daily activities that take place outside the reading rooms. ... One part of the Vatican Library, the historical part, can be admired on the itinerary of the Vatican Museums, but that its not the living part. This exhibition, thanks to a number of stands manned by library staff, brings, if only in part, a breath of the life of this daily activity and represents the true novelty of this exhibition with respect to earlier ones".

  "Yet something will still be missing from this arrangement: the readers", said the cardinal. "To compensate for this failing, the exhibition will welcome visitors in a virtual reconstruction ... and groups of pilgrims and school children touring St. Peter's Basilica will also be able to visit the exhibition. It is an exalted cultural undertaking which makes up for the impossibility of accommodating visitors in the limited physical confines of the Vatican Library and gives people who appreciate the treasures of culture and beauty the opportunity to know and marvel at our institution [which houses the] patrimony of humanity and the roots of our civilisation and our faith".

  For her part Barbara Jatta explained how the organisation of the exhibition will be "traditional, but at the same time modern and communicative. ... Along with the traditional sections (seven in number: history, manuscripts, prints, designs, coins and medals, other services, and the workshops) a multimedia itinerary has also been created, using videos and computers to give people an understanding of the institution. This was a deliberate choice to underline how technology and innovation have been a priority of the Vatican Library for decades".

  "Noteworthy aspects - apart from extraordinary manuscripts, incunabula, ... medals, etc. - include the recreation of the Library's Sistine Hall, the great sixteenth-century frescoed area created by order of Pope Sixtus V, the decoration of which focuses on the history of alphabets, the libraries of antiquity, and Church Councils associated with the theme of books".

  The exhibition also includes recreations of the restoration and photographic workshops. "The restorers will work on the restoration of ancient codices, stitching bindings and restoring designs and prints in front of the public", said Ms Jatta.

  Msgr. Pasini announced that from 11 to 13 November, to coincide with the inauguration of the exhibition, "a conference will be held to analyse the period of the last sixty years, both in terms of the studies undertaken in the Library and its contacts with external institutions, and the life and activities of the Library and the experience it has acquired in its various departments".
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VATICAN CITY, 9 NOV 2010 (VIS) - On Wednesday 17 November, at the "Sala San Pio X", at Via della Conciliazione 5, Rome, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity will hold a public commemoration to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, says a communique released today.

  The event will be presided by Archbishop Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and will be attended by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president emeritus, His Grace Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, and His Eminence Metropolitan Pergamo Ioannis (Zizioulas) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

  On 5 June 1960, the day of Pentecost, with his Motu Proprio "Superno Dei Nutu", Blessed John XXIII established, along with the eleven preparatory commissions for Vatican Council II, a Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity. The first president to whom Pope John XXIII entrusted responsibility for the Secretariat was Cardinal Augustin Bea, who was later succeeded by Cardinal Johann Willebrands, Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy, Cardinal Walter Kasper and, as of 1 July 2010, Archbishop Kurt Koch. In 1988 Pope John Paul II, with his Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus", changed the name of the Secretariat to that of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Over the course of the years, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has administered relations with the vast world of ecumenism, both at a multilateral level and through bilateral contacts and dialogue with many Churches and Christian communities.

  The date for the commemorative celebrations was deliberately chosen to coincide with the plenary session of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, which will be held from 15 to 19 November and will focus on the theme: "Towards a new stage of ecumenical dialogue".
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