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Friday, November 26, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received three hundred representatives from the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies a body which, since 1966, has represented all diocesan and Catholic-inspired weekly publications in the country.

  In his address to them the Pope affirmed that creating channels of communication between the various organs of the local press "was a response to the need to promote collaboration ... so as to increase the efficiency and incisiveness of the announcement of the evangelical message. The specific function of Catholic-inspired newspapers", he said, "is to announce the Good News by recounting the concrete events that Christian communities experience in the real situations in which they live".

  "One of the most important cultural challenges in our own post-modern world involves the way we understand truth. The dominant culture, the culture propagated by the areopagus of the media, adopts a sceptical and relativist attitude towards truth, considering it as equivalent to mere opinion and, consequently, believing that many truths can legitimately coexist. But the desire that lies in the heart of man testifies to the impossibility of resting content with partial truths. ... The truth for which man thirsts is a person: the Lord Jesus. By encountering this Truth ... we find peace and true happiness. The Church's mission consists in creating the conditions that make this meeting between man and Christ possible.

  "Collaborating in this task", he added, "the communications media are called to serve the truth with courage so as to help public opinion contemplate and decipher reality from an evangelical standpoint. This means presenting the reasons for the faith which, as such, surpass any ideological vision and have the full right to exist in public debate. From here arises your constant commitment to give voice to a point of view that reflects Catholic thought in all ethical and social questions".

  "Continue to be newspapers of the people", Benedict XVI concluded. "Seek to favour true dialogue between the various elements of social life, be arenas for confrontation and debate between contrasting opinions. By doing this, the Catholic press, while undertaking the vital task of informing, will also play an indispensable formational role, promoting evangelical knowledge of complex reality, and educating critical minds and Christian consciences".
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VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Pope today received participants in the general assembly of the Union of Superiors General (USG, for male religious) and the International Union of Superiors General (UISG, for female religious).

  "The profound renewal of consecrated life stems from the centrality of the Word of God and, in more concrete terms, from the Gospel the supreme rule for you all", the Holy Father told his audience. "The Gospel, put into practice every day, is the element that makes consecrated life intriguing and beautiful, presenting you before the world as a reliable alternative. This is what contemporary society needs, this is what the Church expects of you: to be a living Gospel".

  Referring then to "another fundamental aspect of consecrated life, that of fraternity", Benedict XVI highlighted how this "is one of the aspects that young people seek most when they feel attracted by your lifestyle. It is an important prophetic element you offer to a highly fragmented society". In this context he spoke of the need "for serious and constant discernment in order to listen to what the Spirit is telling the community, in order to recognise what comes from the Lord and what is contrary to Him. Without discernment, accompanied by prayer and reflection, consecrated life risks basing itself on the criteria of this world: individualism, consumerism, materialism; criteria that undermine fraternity and cause consecrated life to lose its allure".

  The Holy Father then turned to consider another theme: mission. "It is part of your identity", he said, "it encourages you to bring the Gospel to everyone, without borders. Mission, supported by a strong experience of God, solid formation and fraternal life in the community, is a key to understanding and revitalising consecrated life. ... Renew your presence in today's areopaghi, in order to announce the 'unknown' God, as St. Paul did in Athens".

  Speaking then of the decreasing numbers of consecrated people, especially in Europe, the Pope noted that "the difficulties must not make us forget that consecrated life has its origins in the Lord; chosen by Him for the edification and sanctity of His Church. Thus consecrated life "will never be lacking" in the Church.

  The Holy Father concluded by encouraging consecrated people "to progress in faith and hope", and called for "a renewed commitment in the pastoral care of vocations and in initial and permanent formation".
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VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council Cor Unum, "the agency of the Holy See responsible for orienting and co-ordinating the organisations and charitable activities promoted by the Catholic Church", is organising spiritual exercises for the heads of diocesan Caritas and other ecclesial agencies in Europe. The exercises will take place at the Marian shrine of Jasna Gara at Czestochowa, Poland, from 29 November to 3 December.

  This is the third such gathering. In June 2008, 500 leaders of the Catholic Church's mission of charity from North America, Latin America and the Caribbean met in Guadalajara, Mexico. For Asia, the meeting took place in September 2009 in Taipei, Taiwan, and was attended by 450 participants.
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VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2010 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office at midday today a press conference was held to present the "Vatican Foundation: Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI". The conference was presented by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the foundation's academic committee; Msgr. Giuseppe Antonio Scotti, president of the foundation, and Fr. Stephan Otto Horn S.D.S, president of the "Ratzinger Schulerkreis" and of the "Joseph Ratzinger Papst Benedict XVI - Siftung".

  Msgr. Scotti explained how on 1 March this year the Holy Father had ordered the creation of a new foundation, with the name of "Vatican Foundation: Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI", in order "to respond to a desire expressed by many scholars over the course of the years". As regards the financing of the new body, he explained, "a first ample contribution will come from the Pontiff himself, who has chosen to devolve a large part of the proceeds from his author rights".

  For his part Cardinal Ruini explained how, apart from himself, the academic committee will be composed of Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.; Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B. prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugues O.P., secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer S.J., prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

  The committee will have three tasks, he said, "firstly, drawing up criteria and objectives for the annual and long-term programme of the foundation's activities; secondly, establishing criteria of excellence for the creation and conferral of prizes to scholars who have distinguished themselves in academic publications and/or research; and finally, organising cultural and academic initiatives".

  "The theology of Joseph Ratzinger moves forward, looking to the present and the future on the basis of an extraordinary knowledge of the origins and history of the Christian faith. His capacity, what I would call his tastefulness, in keeping these two aspects united ... likens Joseph Ratzinger to great teachers of other periods of Christian history. It is no coincidence that the foundation which bears his name will focus particular attention, on the one hand on biblical and patristic studies, and on the other on fundamental theology. The aim is to bring out the truth, significance and beauty of Christianity in its relationship with contemporary culture and society".

  Fr. Horn then spoke to explain that, even before Cardinal Ratzinger's election to the papacy, his students had thought of creating a Joseph Ratzinger Foundation. "Not only did they feel profound gratitude towards their teacher", he said, "but they were also deeply convinced of the importance of his theology for the Church. ... In the meeting of the 'Schulerkreis' with the Holy Father at Castelgandolfo in 2007 we received his approval to create an autonomous foundation".

  This foundation, Fr. Horn went on, "has a clear direction and broad ranging projects. Its goal is to promote the study of Joseph Ratzinger's theology and spirituality, propagating his ideas in the Church and society, and ensuring they are absorbed. Thus will his memory be conserved for the future".

  One of the foundation's projects concerns the University of Regensburg "with the creation of chair for a visiting professor in the faculty of theology during the summer term". In September this year a "Benediktakdemie" (Benedict Academy) for young students was held at Salzburg in Austria, while in Rome (in collaboration with the "Casa Balthasar", an institution for discerning vocations in young Catholic men) there is a plan to crate a study centre for theology and spirituality. "And we have also", Fr. Horn concluded, "collected the recollections of more than forty of Joseph Ratzinger's former students in order to establish an archive".
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VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Gaudencio B. Rosales, archbishop of Manila, Philippines, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Bernardino C. Cortez and Broderick S. Pabillo.

 - Anglican Bishop Geoffrey Rowell of Gibraltar in Europe.

  This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted:

 - The resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, presented by Bishop Gaspar Ladosci, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

 - The resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Ondo, Nigeria, presented by Bishop Francis Folorunsho Clement Alonge, upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Jude Ayodeji Arogundade.
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