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Monday, November 22, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 20 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The afternoon session of the day of prayer and reflection - a gathering of the College of Cardinals presided by the Pope for the occasion of the ordinary public consistory - began at 5 p.m. yesterday with the celebration of Vespers. The meeting then continued with the presentation of three reports.

  Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, spoke on "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's Instruction 'Dominus Iesus' ten years after its publication". He noted that the document had served to clarify certain fundamental Christological and ecclesiological truths, and to relaunch ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue on the basis of a precisely defined Catholic identity. At the same time it did not close the lines for research into the great question of the salvation of non-Christians, as indicated by Vatican Council II. "Dominus Iesus", by warning against a poorly-understood pluralism, remains a valid call to doctrinal and pastoral clarity, as a foundation for catechesis, new evangelisation and the "mission ad gentes".

  Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then delivered two contributions, dealing with "The Church's Response to Cases of Sexual Abuse: towards shared guidelines", and "The Apostolic Constitution 'Anglicanorum coetibus'". In the first of these, the cardinal outlined recent aggiornamenti to canonical legislation regarding the crime of sexual abuse of minors, and made certain observations about the broader responsibility of bishops to protect the faithful under their care. In this, he drew inspiration from the Holy Father's words and from his example of listening to and welcoming victims, also dwelling on collaboration with civil authorities, the need for effective commitment to protect children and young people, and the careful selection and formation of future priests and religious. Finally, he reported on preparatory work on a circular letter from his congregation to episcopal conferences concerning guidelines for co-ordinated and effective efforts in this field".

  In his second report Cardinal Levada explained the nature and origins of the Apostolic Constitution on the institution of an Ordinariate for Anglican faithful who wish to enter "corporately" into full communion with the Catholic Church. He explained the ecumenical context and the current situation concerning the constitution of Ordinariates, the first of which will be established in Great Britain as announced today in a statement from the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales.

  A period of discussion then followed in which twelve cardinals arose to express their views. Some of them referred to questions considered during the morning session (religious freedom and the liturgy), exploring them more deeply, while others focused particularly on the question of the Church's response to cases of sexual abuse. The suggestion was made, among others, to encourage episcopal conferences to develop effective and incisive plans for the defence of minors, taking account of the multiple aspects of the problem and the necessary methods of intervention, in order to re-establish justice and assist victims, and to help in prevention and formation even in countries where the problem has not arisen as dramatically as in others.

  During the course of the debate, the decision was also taken to express the solidarity of the College of Cardinals - united with the Holy Father - to the people of Iraq and Haiti, and to begin a concrete initiative of gathering charitable donations to be sent via "Cor Unum".
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VATICAN CITY, 20 NOV 2010 (VIS) - In St. Peter's Basilica this morning, Benedict XVI celebrated the third ordinary public consistory of his pontificate, during which he created twenty-four new cardinals.

  Following the liturgical greeting, the Holy Father read the formula of creation and solemnly proclaimed the names of the new cardinals. The first of them, Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, then thanked the Pope in the name of all the others.

  After a Gospel reading, the Holy Father pronounced his homily.

  From now on the new members of the College of Cardinals will, he said, "be part of that 'coetus peculiaris' which offers Peter's Successor more immediate and assiduous collaboration, supporting him in the exercise of his universal ministry".

  Commenting on today's Gospel reading, the Holy Father explained that "it places before our eyes the image of Jesus as Messiah - foretold by Isaiah - Who comes not to be served, but to serve. The manner of His life becomes the foundation for new relations within the entire Christian community, and for a new way of exercising authority".

  "What path", the Pope asked, "must then be followed by those who wish to be disciples? The path of the Master is the path of complete obedience to God", he said.

  Pope Benedict highlighted how "in the Church no-one is proprietor; rather, all are called, all are invited, all are touched and guided by divine grace. This is also our security! Only be listening again to the word of Jesus which tells us 'come and follow me', only by returning to the original vocation, is it possible to understand our presence and mission in the Church as true disciples".

  "The fundamental criterion of greatness and primacy according to God is not dominion, but service. The diaconate is the fundamental law of the disciple and of the Christian community. ... The Son of man came to serve. He defined His mission under the category of service, understood not in generic terms but in the concrete sense of the cross, of the total giving of life as 'ransom' and redemption for many, and He indicates this as a condition for following Him. This message applies to the Apostles, it applies to the entire Church, above all it applies to those who have the task of guiding the People of God. It is not the logic of domination, of power according to human criteria which lies at the basis of the exercise of authority, but the logic of bending to wash the feet, the logic of service, the logic of the cross. At all times the Church is committed to conforming herself to this logic, to bearing witness to it in order to reveal the true 'Lordship of God', that of love".

  The Holy Father told the new cardinals that the mission to which God has called them today "requires an ever stronger will to imitate the style of the Son of God. ... This means following Him in his donation of humble and total love to the Church, His Bride, on the cross. ... This requires ever more profound and solid roots in Christ. An intimate relationship with Him ... is the primary requirement to ensure that our service remains serene and joyful, and can give produce the fruits the Lord expects from us".

  At the end of the homily the new cardinals made the profession of faith before the people of God, swearing their faithfulness and obedience to the Pope and his successors.

  One by one, in the order in which they were created, the new cardinals then came and knelt before the Holy Father who imposed the red "biretta" or hat and assigned them a titular or diaconate church in Rome as a sign of their participation in the Pope's pastoral concern for the city.

  The Pope gave each new cardinal his Bull of Creation and exchanged an embrace of peace with them. The cardinals then exchanged the same embrace with each other

  The celebration concluded with the prayer of the faithful, the recitation of the Our Father and the final blessing.
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VATICAN CITY, 20 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Following are the names of the twenty-four new cardinals created by Pope Benedict XVI in this morning's consistory, and the titular or diaconate churches he assigned to them:

 - Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., diaconate of St. Mary in Aquiro.

 - His Beatitude Cardinal Antonios Naguib, patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts, Egypt.

 - Cardinal Robert Sarah, diaconate of St. John Bosco in Via Tuscolana.

 - Cardinal Francesco Monterisi, diaconate of St. Paul alla Regola.

 - Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli, diaconate of St. Anselm on the Aventine.

 - Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, St. Agatha of the Goths.

 - Cardinal Kurt Koch, diaconate of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

 - Cardinal Paolo Sardi, diaconate of Our Lady of Help in Via Tuscolana.

 - Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, diaconate of St. Paul at the Three Fountains.

 - Cardinal Velasio De Paolis C.S., diaconate of Jesus the Good Shepherd alla Montagnola.

 - Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, diaconate of St. George in Velabro.

 - Cardinal Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, title of St. Emerentiana at Tor Fiorenza.

 - Cardinal Raul Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, title of St. Mary in Via.

 - Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, title of St. Mary "Regina Pacis" at Ostia Mare.

 - Cardinal Paolo Romeo, title of St. Mary Hodegetria of the Sicilians

 - Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, title of St. Peter in Chains.

 - Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, title of Our Lady Immaculate al Tiburtino.

 - Cardinal Kazimierz Nyc, title of Sts. Sylvester and Mariano ai Monti.

 - Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, title of St. Lawrence in Lucina.

 - Cardinal Reinhard Marx, title of St. Corbinian.

 - Cardinal Jose Manuel Estepa Llaurens, title of St. Gabriel the Archangel all'Acqua Traversa.

 - Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, diaconate of St. Angelo in Pescheria.

 - Cardinal Walter Brandmuller, diaconate of St. Julian of the Flemish.

 - Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, diaconate of the Most Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in Via Latia.
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VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2010 (VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica at 9.30 a.m. today, Solemnity of Christ the King, the Pope presided at a Eucharistic concelebration with the twenty-four new cardinals created in yesterday's consistory. During the course of the ceremony he presented them with their ring of office.

  In his homily, the Holy Father affirmed that "the primary service of Peter's Successor is the service of faith. ... The drama that takes place under the cross of Christ is a universal drama", he said. "It involves all mankind before God, Who reveals himself for what He is: Love. In the crucified Christ divinity is disfigured and stripped of all its visible glory, yet it is present and real. Only the faith can recognise it; the faith of Mary who, ... though she could not yet see everything, still continued to confide in God, repeating once again with the same abandonment: 'here am I, the servant of the Lord'".

  Benedict XVI highlighted how "Peter's ministry consists entirely in his faith; ... a faith which must traverse the scandal of the cross in order to become authentic, truly 'Christian', in order to become the 'rock' upon which Jesus can build His Church".

  "This ministry is difficult because it is not aligned with the way mankind thinks, with that natural logic which, nevertheless, also remains active in us. ... And we must bear witness to and announce this paradoxical regality just as He, the King, did; in other words, by following His path and struggling to adopt His logic, the logic of humility and service, the logic of the seed of grain which dies to bring forth fruit".

  The Holy Father then went on to explain how "the effectiveness of our service to the Church, the Bride of Christ, essentially depends on this, on our faithfulness to the divine regality of crucified Love. For this reason, on the ring I give you today, the seal of your nuptial pact with the Church, is a depiction of the crucifixion. And for the same reason the colour of your robes alludes to blood, symbol of life and love, the Blood of Christ which according to ancient iconography was gathered by Mary from the pierced side of her Son, dead on the cross, and which the Apostle John saw as it flowed out mixed with water, in accordance with prophetic Scripture".

  "The primacy of Peter and his Successors", Benedict XVI concluded, "remains entirely at the service of this primacy of Jesus Christ, the one Lord; at the service of His Kingdom, His Lordship of love, in order that it may come and spread, renewing mankind and creation, transforming the earth and bringing peace and justice".
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VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2010 (VIS) - At the end of today's Eucharistic concelebration with the new cardinals created in yesterday's consistory, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  In his remarks the Pope spoke of today's Solemnity of Christ the King, noting how it was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and later, following Vatican Council II, placed in its current position at the end of the liturgical year.

  "The Gospel of St. Luke", said Pope Benedict, "presents the regality of Jesus at the moment of the crucifixion. The leaders of the people and the soldiers deride 'the firstborn of all creation' and put Him to the test to see if He has the power to save Himself from death. Yet it is precisely on the cross that Jesus is 'at the height' of God, Who is Love. There He can be recognised".

  "In fact, while the Lord seems indistinguishable between two criminals, one of them, aware of his sins, ... turns to the 'king of the Jews' saying 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom'. ... The so-called 'good thief' immediately receives forgiveness and the joy of entering the Kingdom of heaven. ... Jesus, from His throne of the cross, welcomes all men with infinite mercy".

  "The path of love, which the Lord reveals to us and invites us to follow, may also be seen in Christian art. Indeed from earliest times, 'in the arrangement of Christian sacred buildings, ... it became customary to depict the Lord returning as a king - the symbol of hope - ... while the west wall normally portrayed the Last Judgement as a symbol of our responsibility for our lives'': hope in the infinite love of God and commitment to ordering our lives in accordance with the love of God", the Pope explained.

  "When we contemplate the depictions of Jesus inspired by the New Testament", he concluded, "we are, as the Council of Trent taught, led 'to understand ... the sublime nature of the humiliation of the Word of God, and ... to remember His life in the flesh, His salvific passion and death, and the redemption of the world which arises therefrom".
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VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2010 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus, the Pope recalled how today in Italy, at the invitation of their bishops, "ecclesial communities are praying for Christians who suffer persecution and discrimination, especially in Iraq. I wish to join this choral appeal to the God of life and peace", he said, "that religious freedom may be guaranteed to everyone all over the world. I remain close to these brothers and sisters for the exalted witness of faith they render unto God.

  "On today's liturgical memory of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple", the Holy Father added, "the Church is particularly close to cloistered monks and nuns. This is 'Pro Orantibus Day' which also renews the invitation to give our concrete support to these communities. Upon them I impart a heartfelt blessing.

  "Today is also the 'Day of Road Traffic Victims'. While giving assurances of recollection in my prayers, I encourage people to continue their commitment towards prevention, which is yielding positive results, recalling always that prudence and respect for norms represent the fundamental way to protect oneself and others".

  Benedict XVI also expressed his closeness "to people affected by torrential rains which over recent days have devastated a large part of Colombia. In the hope that calls for solidarity will not go unheard, I join those who raise prayers to the Lord for the victims and for people experiencing a period of anguish and suffering".
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VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a note issued by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. concerning certain remarks by the Pope on the use of condoms, which appear the new book "Light of the World".

  "At the end of chapter eleven of the book 'Light of the World' the Pope responds to two questions about the battle against AIDS and the use of condoms, questions that reconnect with the discussions that arose in the wake of certain statements the Pope made on this subject during the course of his 2009 trip to Africa.

  "The Pope again makes it clear that his intention was not to take up a position on the problem of condoms in general; his aim, rather was to reaffirm with force that the problem of AIDS cannot be solved simply by distributing condoms, because much more needs to be done: prevention, education, help, advice, accompaniment, both to prevent people from falling ill and to help them if they do.

  "The Pope observes that even in the non-ecclesial context an analogous awareness has developed, as is apparent in the so-called ABC theory (Abstinence - Be Faithful - Condom), in which the first two elements (abstinence and fidelity) are more decisive and fundamental in the battle against AIDS, while condoms take last place, as a way out when the other two are absent. It should thus be clear that condoms are not the solution to the problem.

  "The Pope then broadens his perspective and insists that focusing only on condoms is equivalent to trivialising sexuality, which thus loses its meaning as an expression of love between persons and becomes a 'drug'. This struggle against the trivialisation of sexuality is 'part of the great effort to ensure that sexuality is positively valued and is able to exercise a positive effect on man in his entirety'.

  "In the light of this broad and profound vision of human sexuality and the problems it currently faces, the Pope reaffirms that 'the Church does not of course consider condoms to be the authentic and moral solution' to the problem of AIDS.

  "In this the Pope does not reform or change Church teaching, but reaffirms it, placing it in the perspective of the value and dignity of human sexuality as an expression of love and responsibility.

  "At the same time the Pope considers an exceptional circumstance in which the exercise of sexuality represents a real threat to another person's life. In such a case, the Pope does not morally justify the disordered practice of sexuality but maintains that the use of a condom to reduce the danger of infection can be 'a first act of responsibility', 'a first step on the road toward a more human sexuality', rather than not using it and exposing the other person to a mortal risk.

  "In this, the reasoning of the Pope certainly cannot be defined as a revolutionary change.

  "Many moral theologians and authoritative ecclesiastical figures have supported and support similar positions; it is nevertheless true that we have not heard this with such clarity from the mouth of the Pope, even in an informal and non-magisterial form.

  "Thus Benedict XVI courageously makes an important contribution to help us clarify and more deeply understand a long-debated question. His is an original contribution, because, on the one hand, it remains faithful to moral principles and transparently refutes illusory paths such as that of 'faith in condoms'; on the other hand, however, it manifests a comprehensive and farsighted vision, attentive to recognising the small steps (though only initial and still confused) of an often spiritually- and culturally-impoverished humanity, toward a more human and responsible exercise of sexuality".
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VATICAN CITY, 22 NOV 2010 (VIS) - In the Paul VI Hall this morning, the Holy Father received the twenty-four new cardinals created in the consistory of Saturday 20 November. With the prelates were members of their families and other faithful who have accompanied them to Rome.

  The Pope greeted the cardinals in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish, and expressed the hope that their followers may "support you with their prayers, that you many continue to persevere faithfully in your various tasks, for the good of the Gospel and of all Christian people".

  "Your ministry", he told the cardinals, "is now enriched by the further duty of supporting Peter's Successor in his universal service to the Church. I place a lot of trust in you, in your prayer and in your vital assistance. With fraternal esteem I encourage you to continue your spiritual and apostolic mission which has just gone through a very important stage. Maintain your gaze fixed on Christ, drawing all grace and spiritual comfort from Him and following the shining example of cardinal saints, intrepid servants of the Church who, over the course of the centuries, have rendered glory to God with their heroic exercise of the virtues and their tenacious faithfulness to the Gospel".

  Invoking on the cardinals "the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary Mother of the Church, and of the martyr St. Cecilia whose liturgical memory falls today", the Pope said "may she, the patroness of music and 'bel canto', accompany and support your efforts to listen attentively to various voices within the Church, in order to make the unity of hearts more profound".
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VATICAN CITY, 22 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has written a Message to Fr. Hermann Geissler F.S.O., director of the International Centre of Newman Friends, for a symposium the group has organised in Rome on the theme: "The Primacy of God in the Life and Writings of Blessed John Henry Newman".

  In the text the Pope recalls how Newman, having experienced a youthful period of difficulty and doubt (which eventually concluded with the grace of conversion) and while still an Anglican, allowed himself to be guided by two fundamental criteria which "fully express the primacy of God in his life". The first of these was that of "holiness before peace", evidence, the Pope said, "of his unshakeable will to adhere to the inner Master with his conscience, to abandon himself trustingly to the Father, and to live in accordance with recognised truth". The second criterion, that "growth is the only evidence of life", expresses "his predisposition to continuous conversion, transformation and interior growth, while always resting trustingly on God".

  "Thus", the Holy Father adds, "did he discover his vocation at the service of the Word of God and, drawing greater clarification from the Fathers of the Church, proposed an authentic reform of Anglicanism, ultimately joining the Catholic Church".

  "For Newman, then, primacy of God translates into primacy of truth, a truth that must be sought above all by conforming one's own inner life to acceptance, in an open and sincere dialogue with everyone that reaches its culmination in the meeting with Christ, 'way, truth and life'".

  "In presenting and defending Truth, Cardinal Newman was always careful to use suitable language, correct form and an appropriate tone. He never sought to offend, and attempted to bear witness to the kindly inner light, striving to convince people using humility, joy and patience".

  "To Blessed John Henry Newman, the master who teaches us that primacy of God is also primacy of truth and love, I entrust the reflections and work of this symposium", the Holy Father concludes.
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VATICAN CITY, 22 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolence to Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, superior general of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), for the death of Cardinal Urbano Navarrete S.J., dean of St. Pontian, who died today at the age of 90.

  In his telegram to Fr. Pachon, the Holy Father expresses his "profound condolences to you, to the entire Society of Jesus, and to the relatives of dear cardinal", recalling "his long and competent service as a distinguished jurist to the Pontifical Gregorian University and to the Holy See".

  At the altar of the Cathedra in the Vatican Basilica at 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday 24 November, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, will preside at the funeral Mass with other members of the college.

  At the end of the ceremony, the Pope will address those present and administer the rites of "Ultima Commendatio" and of "Valedictio".
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VATICAN CITY, 22 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, archbishop of San Cristobal de La Habana, Cuba.

 - Cardinal Jose T. Sanchez, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy.

 - Cardinal Ricardo J. Vidal, archbishop emeritus of Cebu, Philippines.
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VATICAN CITY, 22 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Fr. Jose Bonello O.F.M., vicar general of the diocese of Comayagua, Honduras, and pastor of "Santa Ana" in La Libertad, as coadjutor of Juticalpa (area 24,341, population 578,000, Catholics 530,000, priests 23, religious 49), Honduras. The bishop-elect was born in Xaghra, Malta in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1985.

 - Bishop Vincenzo Di Mauro, secretary of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See, as coadjutor bishop of Vigevano (area 1,509, population 184,356, Catholics 174,869, priests 118, permanent deacons 10, religious 198), Italy, giving him the "ad personam" title of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Monza, Italy in 1951, he was ordained a priest in 1976 and consecrated a bishop in 2007.

  On Saturday 20 November it was made public that he appointed Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, apostolic nuncio to Pakistan, as apostolic nuncio to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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