Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 31 MAY 2011 (VIS) - On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, the Holy Father sent a letter to Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, chancellor of the institution. The letter, which was published today, was read at the institute last Thursday, 26 May.

  Benedict XVI recalled that Pope St. Pius X founded the Higher School of Sacred Music, which two decades later was elevated by Pius XI to a pontifical institute. The Holy Father stated that, in order to clearly understand the identity and mission of that Institute, it was necessary to know that St. Pius X founded it "eight years after having issued the Motu Proprio 'Tra le sollecitudini' on 22 November 1903, with which he brought about a profound reform in the area of sacred music, turning to the great tradition of the Church against the influence exercised by profane music, above all of the operatic type".

  This magisterial intervention, in order to be implemented in the universal Church, needed a center of studies and teaching that would faithfully and appropriately transmit the directives indicated by the Supreme Pontiff according to the authentic and glorious tradition that dates back to St. Gregory the Great. In the span of the last 100 years, this Institution has assimilated, developed, and expressed the doctrinal and pastoral teaching of the pontifical documents, as well as those of Vatican Council II, concerning sacred music, to illumine and guide the work of composers, chapel maestros, liturgists, musicians, and all instructors in this field".

  The Pope then emphasized how, since St. Pius X until today, "even though evolving naturally, there has been a substantial continuity of the Magisterium on sacred music". In particular he cited Paul VI and John Paul II who "in light of the conciliar constitution 'Sacrosanctum Concilium', reiterated the purpose of sacred music, that is to say, 'the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful' and the fundamental criteria of the corresponding tradition...: a sense of prayer, dignity, and beauty; full adherence to liturgical texts and expressions; the assembly's participation and, therefore, the legitimate adaptation to local culture, at the same time maintaining the universality of language; the primacy of Gregorian chant as the supreme model of sacred music and the careful assessment of other expressive forms that make up the historical-liturgical patrimony of the Church, especially but not just polyphony; and the importance of the 'schola cantorum', particularly in cathedral churches".

  "However, we always have to ask ourselves: Who is the true subject of the liturgy? The answer is simple: the Church. It is not the individual or the group that celebrates the liturgy, but it is primarily God's action through the Church with its history, its rich tradition, and its creativity. The liturgy, and thus sacred music, 'lives from a correct and constant relationship between healthy traditio and legitimate progressio', keeping always in mind that these two concepts ... are interwoven because 'tradition is a living reality that, therefore, encompasses within it the very principle of development and progress'", the Pope concluded.
MESS/                                    VIS 20110531 (500)


VATICAN CITY, 31 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for the month of June is: "That priests, united to the Heart of Christ, may always be true witnesses of the caring and merciful love of God".

  His missionary intention is: "That the Holy Spirit may bring forth from our communities many missionaries who are ready to be fully consecrated to spreading the Kingdom of God.".
BXVI-PRAYER INTENTIONS/                    VIS 20110531 (50)


VATICAN CITY, 31 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father appointed as members of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura: Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Cardinal Paolo Sardi, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; and His Beatitude Bechara Boutros Rai, O.M.M., Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, Lebanon.
NA/                                    VIS 20110531 (50)

Monday, May 30, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 28 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, in the Paul VI Hall of the Vatican, Benedict XVI attended a concert offered in his honor by the President of the Republic of Hungary, Pal Schmitt on the occasion of Hungarian presidency of the Council of the European Union and the bicentenary of the birth of the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt.

  At the end of the concert the Holy Father thanked tenor Istvan Horvath, the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra and the State Choir, which performed several compositions by Liszt: Festmarsch zur Goethejubiläumsfeier, Vallee d'Overmann, and the Ave Maria: Die Glocken von Rom, inspired by a Psalm.

  Benedict XVI pointed out that the three pieces "have aroused a wide range of feelings: from the joy and festive tone of the march, to the meditation of the second piece with its insistent and aching melody, to the attitude of prayerfulness we are invited to by the Ave Mary ".

  Referring to the 13th Psalm, the Pope explained that this piece "has given us the idea of the quality and profundity of Liszt's faith. It is a Psalm in which the one praying encounters difficulty, the enemy surrounds him, besieges him, and God seems absent, seems to have forgotten him. His supplication becomes anguished in light of this abandonment: 'How long, O Lord?', the psalmist repeats four times".

  "It is the cry of a man and of humanity", the Pope continued, "feeling the weight of evil in the world. Liszt's music has conveyed this feeling of weight and anguish but God does not abandon him. The Psalmist knows this as does Liszt; as a man of faith, he knows it. Out of anguish is born an invocation full of trust that overflows into joy, 'My heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because he has dealt bountifully with me'. And here Liszt's music is transformed: tenor, choir, and orchestra raise a hymn of total entrustment to God who never betrays, never forgets, never leaves us alone".
BXVI-CONCERT/                                VIS 20110530 (330)


VATICAN CITY, 28 MAY 2011 (VIS) - This afternoon in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received members of the "Mariä Verkündigung" Marian Congregation of Men of Regensburg, Germany. They had come to the Vatican to celebrate with the Pope the 70th anniversary of his induction in that congregation in the Archbishopric Seminary of St. Michael of Traunstein, Germany.

  The Pope recalled that when he entered the seminary, Europe was going through "a dark age. It was a time of war. One after the other, Hitler had subjugated Poland, Denmark, Benelux, and France. In April of 1941 ... he had occupied Yugoslavia and Greece. It seemed that the continent was in the hands of this power that, at the same time, put the future of Christianity in doubt. We had been admitted to the Congregation but shortly thereafter the war against Russia began. The seminary was dissolved and, before it was able to reassemble, the congregation was scattered to the four winds".

  That is why, the pontiff continued, his entry in the "Mariä Verkündigung" was not "an 'exterior fact', but it stayed with me as 'an interior fact' because it had always been clear that Catholicism could not exist without a Marian character, that being Catholic meant belonging to Mary".

  "Here, through the bishops' ad limina visits", the Holy Father commented, "I constantly sense how people - especially those in Latin America but in other continents as well - can entrust themselves to the Mother; how they can love the Mother and, through the Mother, can then learn to love Christ. I sense how the Mother continues to give birth to Christ; how Mary continues to say 'yes' and to bring Christ to the world".

 "Mary is the great believer. She has taken up Abraham's mission of belief and made Abraham's faith into concrete faith in Jesus Christ,  thus showing us all the way of faith, the courage to entrust ourselves to the God who puts Himself in our hands, the joy of being His witnesses. Then she shows us the determination to remain fast when all others have fled, the courage to remain at the Lord's side when he seems lost and thus to bear the witness that led to His Passion".

  "I am thus very grateful", the Pope concluded, "to know that in Bavaria there are approximately 40,000 congregants; that still today there are men who, together with Mary, love the Lord. Men who, through Mary, are learning to know and to love the Lord and who, like her, bear witness to the Lord in difficult times as well as happy ones; who remain with Him under the Cross and who continue to live the Passion joyfully together with Him. Thank you all for continuing to hold this witness high, so that we might know that there are Catholic Bavarian men and members of the congregation who continue along the path initiated by the Jesuits in the XVI century and who continue to demonstrate that faith doesn't belong to the past but always opens itself to 'today' and especially to 'tomorrow'".
AC/                                        VIS 20110530 (510)


VATICAN CITY, 28 MAY 2011 (VIS) - The Anglican - Roman Catholic International Commission has completed the first meeting of its new phase (ARCIC III) at the Monastery of Bose in northern Italy (17-27 May 2011).

  According to a communique issued by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, "the commission is chaired by Archbishop David Moxon (Anglican Archbishop of the New Zealand Dioceses) and Archbishop Bernard Longley (Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham), and  comprises eighteen theologians from a wide range of backgrounds across the world".

  "In response to the programme set forth by Pope Benedict XVI and Archbishop Rowan Williams in their 2006 Common Declaration, discussions have focussed on the interrelated issues: the Church as communion, local and universal, and how in communion the local and universal Church come to discern right ethical teaching. The programme also required the Commission to re-examine how the 'commitment to the common goal of the restoration of complete communion in faith and sacramental life' is to be understood and pursued today, and to present the work of ARCIC II in its entirety with appropriate commentaries to assist its reception".

  "The commission", continued the communique, "will seek to develop a theological understanding of the human person, human society, and the new life of grace in Christ. This will provide a basis from which to explore how right ethical teaching is determined at universal and local levels. ARCIC will base this study firmly in scripture, tradition, and reason, and draw on the previous work of the commission. It will analyze some particular questions to elucidate how our two Communions approach moral decision making, and how areas of tension for Anglicans and Roman Catholics might be resolved by learning from the other".

  "The commission will continue its work along the lines it has proposed in preparation for its next meeting in 2012".
CON-UC/                                    VIS 20110530 (300)


VATICAN CITY, 30 MAY 2011 (VIS) -   On Saturday, 28 May, the Holy Father appointed:

  - Archbishop Diego Causero, currently apostolic nuncio to the Czech Republic, as apostolic nuncio to Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein.

  - Msgr. Antonio Neri, an official of the Congregation for the Clergy, as under secretary of the same congregation.

  - as members of the Congregation for Bishops: Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, and Bishop Emeritus Lorenzo Chiarinelli of Viterbo, Italy.
NN:NA/                                    VIS 20110530 (70)


VATICAN CITY, 29 MAY 2011 (VIS) - This afternoon Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Regina Coeli with the thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  The Pope commented on the passage from the Acts of the Apostles from the sixth Sunday of Easter when Phillip, "one of the deacons, arrived in a city of Samaria. There he preached the Risen Christ and his proclamation was accompanied by numerous healings. The episode ends very significantly: 'There was great joy in that city'. This expression, which basically communicates a sense of hope, strikes us every time. It is as if it said: 'It is possible! It is possible for humanity to know true joy because, wherever the Gospel reaches, there life flourishes".

  "Phillip and the other disciples, with the strength of the Holy Spirit, carried out in the villages of Palestine what Jesus had done: they preached the Good News and worked miraculous signs. It was the Lord who acted through them. As Jesus announced the coming of the Kingdom of God, the disciples announced the Risen Jesus, proclaiming that He is Christ, the Son of God, baptizing in his name and driving out every illness of body and spirit".

  The Holy Father affirmed that "reading this passage, one thinks spontaneously of the Gospel's healing power, which throughout the centuries has 'watered' so many peoples like a beneficial river. Some great saints brought hope and peace to entire cities - think of Charles Borromeo in Milan during the time of plague; Mother Teresa of Calcutta; and those many missionaries, whose names are known to God, who have given their lives to bring the news of Christ and to make profound joy flourish among persons".

  "While the powerful of this world sought to conquer new territories for political and economic interests", he continued, "Christ's messengers went everywhere with the purpose of bringing Christ to human beings and human beings to Christ, knowing that He alone can give true freedom and eternal life. The Church's vocation today is still evangelization: to the many the peoples who have not yet been 'watered' by the living waters of the Gospel as well as to those who, although having ancient Christian roots, are in need of new nourishment to bear new fruit and to rediscover the beauty and joy of the faith".

  The Pope pointed out that "Blessed John Paul II was a great missionary, as an exhibit organized in Rome in these days documents. He re-launched the mission 'ad gentes' and, at the same time, promoted the new evangelization".

  After praying the Regina Coeli, the Pope noted that "last Saturday in Cerreto Sannita, Italy, Sr. Maria Serafina of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (born Clotilde Micheli), was proclaimed Blessed. Born in Trentino, she founded in Campania the Institute of the Sisters of the Angels. On recalling the 100th anniversary of her birth in heaven, we rejoice with her spiritual daughters and all those devoted to her".

  Addressing the Polish pilgrims, Benedict XVI noted that "yesterday was the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the death of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, the 'Primate of the Millennium'. Invoking the gift of his beatification, let us learn from him a total abandonment to the Mother of God. Let his trust, expressed with the words: 'I have entrusted all to Mary', be a special model for us. Let us  recall this at the end of the month of May, which is especially dedicated to the Virgin".
ANG/                                        VIS 20110530 (580)


VATICAN CITY, 30 MAY 2011 (VIS) - "The Second Vatican Council reminds us that, among the more important responsibilities of bishops, the proclamation of the Gospel is pre-eminent", said Benedict XVI today to the prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India at the end of their ad limina visit, emphasizing that it is "a source of satisfaction that the proclamation of God's word is bearing rich spiritual fruit in your local Churches, especially through the spread of small Christian communities in which the faithful come together for prayer, reflection on the Scriptures and fraternal support".

  "Every effort should be made", he continued, "to stress that individual and group prayer is, by its very nature, born of and leads back to, the wellspring of grace found in the Church's sacraments and her entire liturgical life. Nor can it be forgotten that the word of God not only consoles but also challenges believers, as individuals and in community, to advance in justice, reconciliation and peace among themselves and in society as a whole. ... In fidelity to the new commandment to love one another as the Lord has loved us, Christians of all times and places have striven to serve their fellow human beings selflessly and to love them with all their heart. After all, love is God's gift to humanity; it is his promise and it is our hope".

  "In this light, I am pleased to note the impressive signs of the Church's charity in many fields of social activity, a service borne in a particular way by her priests and religious. ... The Church's schools prepare young people of all faiths and none to build a more just and peaceful society.  Church agencies have been instrumental in the promotion of microcredit, helping the poor to help themselves. In addition, they promote the Church's healing and charitable mission through clinics, orphanages, hospitals and innumerable other projects aimed at promoting human dignity and well-being ... May Christ's faithful in India", the Pope prayed, "continue to assist all those in need in the communities around them, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or social status, out of the conviction that all have been created in God's image and all are due equal respect".

  In conclusion, the Holy Father spoke of "the grave challenges which threaten to undermine the unity, harmony and sanctity of the family", which the bishops had referred to him, and about "the work which must be done to build a culture of respect for marriage and family life. A sound catechesis which appeals especially to those preparing for marriage", he said, "will do much to nourish the faith of Christian families and will assist them in giving a vibrant, living witness to the Church's age-old wisdom regarding marriage, the family, and the responsible use of God's gift of sexuality.
AL/                                        VIS 20110530 (460)


VATICAN CITY, 30 MAY 2011 (VIS) - This afternoon the Holy Father received participants in the plenary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, instituted in October of 2010, along with its president, Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella.

  Referring to the theme of the next synod of bishops in October of 2012, the theme of which will be "The New Evangelization and the Transmission of the Christian Faith", the Pope said that "the term 'new evangelization' recalls the need of a new way of evangelizing, especially for those who live in a situation like today's where the development of secularization has left deep marks on even traditionally Christian countries".

  "The crisis we are living through", he stated, "carries with it signs of the exclusion of God from people's lives, a general indifference to the Christian faith, and even the intention of marginalizing it from public life. ... Moreover, the phenomenon of people who wish to belong to the Church but who are strongly determined by a vision of life that is opposed to the faith is often seen".

  Benedict XVI emphasized that "proclaiming Jesus Christ, the sole Savior of the world, is more complex today than in the past, but our task continues to be the same as at the beginning of our history. The mission hasn't changed, just as the enthusiasm and courage that motivated the apostles and first disciples should not change".

  The Church's message, he continued, "needs to be renewed today in order to convince modern persons, who are often distracted and insensitive. That is why the new evangelization must find the ways to make the proclamation of salvation more effective, the salvation without with life is contradictory and lacking in what is essential. This includes those who remain tied to Christian roots but who have a difficult relationship with modernity. It is important to make them understand that being Christian is not a type of outfit that one wears in private or on special occasions, but something living and totalizing, capable of taking all that is good in modernity".

  The Pope expressed the desire that in the plenary's work these days, the members and consultors outline "a plan to help the entire Church and the particular different Churches in the commitment of the new evangelization; a plan whereby the urgency of a renewed evangelization takes charge of formation, particularly that of the new generations, and is united to the proposal of concrete signs capable of making the Church's response in this particular moment clear".

  "If, on the one hand, the entire community is called to revive the missionary spirit in order to offer the new message that persons of our times are hoping for, it cannot be forgotten", he finished, "that the lifestyle of believers needs real credibility, as much more convincing as the more dramatic is the condition of the persons to whom it is addressed".
AC/                                        VIS 20110530 (480)


VATICAN CITY, 30 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced that on Sunday, 5 June, at 10:30am, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of München und Freising (Munich), Germany will take possession of the title of San Corbiniano at Via Carlo Orff, 12.
OCL/                                        VIS 20110530 (40)


VATICAN CITY, 30 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received Norbert Lammert, President of the "Bundestag", the German parliament, accompanied by an entourage.

  On Saturday morning, 28 May, the Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

  - Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches,

- Six prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their ad limina visit:

  - Bishop Sebastian Thekethecheril of Vijayapuram,

  - Bishop Stephen Athipozhiyil of Alleppey,

  - Bishop Vincent Samuel of Neyyattinkara,

  - Bishop Selvister Ponnumuthan of Punalur, and

  - Bishop Stanley Roman with Bishop Emeritus Joseph Gabriel Fernandez of Quilon.

  On Saturday afternoon the Holy Father met with:

  - Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli O.F.M., apostolic vicar of Tripoli, and

  - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
AP:AL/                                    VIS 20110530 (130)

Friday, May 27, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 27 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Benedict XVI presided over the praying of the Rosary together with the bishops of Italy, entrusting the people of Italy to the Virgin. The Italian bishops were gathered for a General Assembly on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the political unification of Italy.

  After praying the Luminous Mysteries, Benedict XVI addressed the Italian bishops, recalling that this basilica "is the first in the West dedicated to the Virgin Mother of God", and that on 1 January 2000, Pope John Paul II opened the Holy Door "entrusting the Jubilee Year to Mary. Today we also wish to cross the threshold of this Most Holy "Door", which is Christ, and we ask the Virgin Mary to sustain our journey and to intercede for us".

  "The dispositions of the Virgin's heart - listening, receptiveness, humility, faithfulness, praise, and waiting -", he said, "correspond to the inner provisions and the gestures that shape Christian life. Aware that they express what God desires of the Church, they are what nourish her".

  "Faith, in fact", he continued, "is not alienation. The experiences that poison the dignity of humanity and the quality of social life are other [than faith]. ... Italy, celebrating 150 years of political unity, has reason to be proud of the presence and outreach of the Church, which does not pursue privileges nor intend to substitute the responsibilities of political institutions. Respectful of the State's legitimate secularity, the Church is attentive to sustaining the fundamental rights of the human person. Among these are foremost ethical instances and therefore the openness to transcendence, which constitute values prior to any state jurisdiction because they are inscribed in the very nature of the human person".

  The Church recalls "the duty to promote and protect human life in all its stages and to concretely support the family". In this context he referred to the problem of unemployment "that compromises the serenity of planning for family life in young persons, seriously damaging the authentic and harmonious development of society".

  The Pope urged the prelates to encourage "the faithful laity to overcome every spirit of small-mindedness, distraction, and indifference, and to participate in social life in the first person. Promote the formation of initiatives inspired by the Church's social doctrine so that those who exercise political and administrative responsibilities do not fall victim to the temptation to exploit their positions for personal interest or the thirst for power".

  "Taking education as the theme of this decade's pastoral commitment, you have sought to express the certainty that Christian existence - the good life of the Gospel - is precisely the demonstration of an accomplished life. In this way you assure a service that is not just religious or ecclesial but social as well, contributing to building the city of humanity. Take heart, then! In spite of every difficulty, 'nothing is impossible for God'".

 Benedict XVI concluded by entrusting the Italian peoples to the protection of Mary "Mater unitatis", so that the Lord might grant them "the invaluable gifts of peace and fraternity, and therefore harmonious development. That political forces might also be helped to live this anniversary of Unity as an occasion to strengthen the national union and to overcome every prejudicial conflict. That diverse and legitimate sensitivities, experiences, and perspectives might be rebuilt in a wider picture in order to seek together that which truly contributes to the good of the country. That the example of Mary might open the path to a more just, mature, and responsible society, capable of rediscovering the profound values of the human heart.
BXVI-ROSARY/                                VIS 20110527 (600)


VATICAN CITY, 27 MAY 2011 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI received 400 participants of the General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis, with its president, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

  The Pope recalled that that agency, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, was founded by Pope Pius XII after the horrors of World War II "to demonstrate the solidarity and concern of the entire Church in the face of so many situations of conflict and emergency in the world". Meanwhile, Pope John Paul II strengthened even more the ties linking the various national Caritas associations to one another and to the Holy See, granting public canonical juridical personality to Caritas Internationalis. "As a result, the international agency took on a particular role in the heart of the ecclesial community and was called to share, in collaboration with the ecclesiastical hierarchy, in the Church's mission of making manifest, through practical charity, that love which is God himself".

  "Through such witness ... the Church reaches out to millions of persons and makes it possible for them to recognize and sense the love of God, who is always close to every man and woman in need. For us Christians, God himself is the source of charity; and charity is understood not merely as generic benevolence but as self-giving, even to the sacrifice of one's life for others in imitation of the example of Jesus Christ".

  Caritas Internationalis, the pontiff explained, "differs from other social agencies in that it is ecclesial; it shares in the mission of the Church. This is what the Popes have always wanted and this is what your General Assembly is called forcefully to re-affirm. It should be noted that Caritas Internationalis is basically made up of the various national Caritas agencies. In comparison with many Church institutions and associations devoted to charity, Caritas is distinctive. Despite the variety of canonical forms taken by the national agencies, all of them offer an outstanding aid to Bishops in their pastoral exercise of charity. This entails a particular ecclesial responsibility: that of letting oneself be guided by the Church's Pastors. Since Caritas Internationalis has a universal profile and is canonically a public juridical person, the Holy See is also responsible for following its activity and exercising oversight to ensure that its humanitarian and charitable activity, and the content of its documents, are completely in accord with the Apostolic See and the Church's Magisterium, and that it is administered in a competent and transparent manner. This distinctive identity remains the strength of Caritas Internationalis, and is what makes it uniquely effective".

  Then referring to the important role of that agency at the international level, the Pope affirmed that, thanks to the experience gained in these years, the Caritas members have learned to be "advocates within the international community of a sound anthropological vision, one nourished by Catholic teaching and committed to defending the dignity of all human life.  Without a transcendent foundation, without a reference to God the Creator, without an appreciation of our eternal destiny, we risk falling prey to harmful ideologies".

  Caritas Internationalis is "an organization charged with fostering communion between the universal Church and the particular churches, as well as communion between all the faithful in the exercise of charity. At the same time it is called to help bring the Church's message to political and social life internationally. In the political sphere - and in all those areas directly affecting the lives of the poor - the faithful, especially the laity, enjoy broad freedom of activity.  No one can claim to speak 'officially' in the name of the entire lay faithful, or of all Catholics, in matters freely open to discussion.  On the other hand, all Catholics, and indeed all men and women, are called to act with purified consciences and generous hearts in resolutely promoting those values which I have often referred to as 'non-negotiable'".

  "It is within this greater horizon, then, and in close collaboration with the Church's Pastors who are ultimately responsible for her witness of charity, that the national Caritas agencies are called to continue their vital witness to the mystery of God's healing and transforming love made manifest in Jesus Christ. The same holds true for Caritas Internationalis, which can rest assured that it will enjoy the assistance and support of the Holy See - particularly through the competent dicastery, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum - as it strives to carry out its mission". 
AC/                                        VIS 20110527 (730)


VATICAN CITY, 27 MAY 2011 (VIS) - This past 17 and 18 May, at the head office of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, the fourth meeting of the Special Council for the Middle East was held.

  A statement issued today noted that "Secretary General Archbishop Nikola Eterovic presided over the work, which was attended by all members of the Council". In his opening speech he particularly mentioned His Beatitude Bechara Boutros Rai, O.M.M., who was recently elected Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, Lebanon.

  The Council members stressed that "the coexistence of religions is essential for the development of mutual understanding and tolerance, to promote peaceful and fruitful relations in collaboration for the common good".

  There are also, reads the statement, "the increasingly demanding requirements of ecumenical and religious dialogue, which stimulate the search for communion and the witness on the part of the Lord's disciples to live the faith in charity, with the hope for better times".

  "Special attention has been given to the drafting of a summary of the synodal documents, especially the propositions, in light of the wording of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation that, as in other special Assemblies, will be published in due course by the Pope".
SE/                                        VIS 20110527 (190)


VATICAN CITY, 27 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

-Seven prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their ad limina visit:

  - Archbishop Maria Callist Soosa Pakiam of Trivandrum of the Latins,

  - Bishop Innayya Chinna Addagatla of Srikakulam,

  - Bishop Prakash Mallavarapu of Vijayawada,

  - Bishop Joseph Kariyil of Cochin,

  - Bishop Varghese Chakkalakal of Kannur,

  - Bishop Joseph Karikkassery of Kottapuram, and

  - Fr. Vincent Arackal, apostolic administrator of Calicut.

  This afternoon, the Pope is going to receive the President of the Republic of Hungary, Pal Schmitt, who offers a concert to the Pontiff in the Paul VI Hall.
AL:AP/                                        VIS 20110527 (100)


VATICAN CITY, 27 MAY 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Raymond Wickramasinghe, professor of Moral Theology at the National Seminary of Our Lady of Lanka, as bishop of Galle (area 5,493, population 2,580,000, Catholics 9,511, priests 33, religious 97), Sri Lanka. The bishop-elect was born in 1962 in Uthuwankanda, Mawanella, Sri Lanka and was ordained in 1989.
NER/                                        VIS 20110527 (50)

Thursday, May 26, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 26 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, Benedict XVI sent a telegram through Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., to Bishop James Vann Johnston of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, USA after receiving news last Sunday of the tornado that devastated the city of Joplin, Missouri, killing more than 120 persons and wounding over 750 others.

  The text reads that "the Holy Father has followed with deep concern the aftermath of the catastrophic tornado which struck Joplin on Sunday and he asks you to convey to the entire community the assurance of his closeness in prayer. Conscious of the tragic loss of life and the immensity of the work of rebuilding that lies ahead, he asks God, the Father of Mercies, to grant eternal rest to the departed, consolation to the grieving, and strength and hope to the homeless and the injured. Upon the local civil and religious leaders, and upon all involved in the relief efforts, his holiness invokes the divine gifts of wisdom, fortitude, and perseverance in every good".
TGR/                                    VIS 20110526 (160)


VATICAN CITY, 26 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

  -Archbishop Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

  -Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome.

-Seven prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their ad limina visit:

  -Archbishop Francis Kallarakal of Verapoly,

  -Bishop Prasad Gallela of Cuddapah,

  -Bishop Paul Maipan of Khammam,

  - Bishop Anthony Poola of Kurnool,

  - Bishop Joji Govindu of Nalgonda,

  - Bishop Bali Gali of Guntur, and

  - Bishop Moses Doraboina Prakasam of Nellore.
AP:AL/                                VIS 20110526 (90)


VATICAN CITY, 26 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father:

  - appointed Msgr. Robert Dwayne Gruss as bishop of Rapid City (area 11,327, population 239,000, Catholics 30,700,  priests 51, permanent deacons 27, religious 60), USA. The bishop-elect was born in Texarkana, Texas, USA in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1994. He is currently the rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport.

  - appointed Fr. Donald J. Hying as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee (area 12,323, population 2,315,958, Catholics 657,519, priests 651, permanent deacons 165, religious 1,660), USA. The bishop-elect was born in 1963 in West Allis, Wisconsin, USA, and was ordained a priest in 1989. He is currently rector of Saint Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee.

  - granted the confirmation requested of him in accordance with canon 153 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches by Bishop George Alencherry, of Thuckalay of the Syro-Malabars, canonically elected as major archbishop of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars, India by the Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church meeting in Mount Saint Thomas, Kakkanad-Kochi, in Kerala, India on 24 May. Bishop Alencherry was born in Thuruthy, India in 1945, was ordained a priest in 1972, and consecrated a bishop in 1997.
NER:NEA:NA/                            VIS 20110526 (200)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 25 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Continuing with his catecheses on prayer, Benedict XVI spoke in today's general audience about the Patriarch Jacob and his fight with the unknown man at the ford of the Jabbok. The audience was held in St. Peter's Square with 15,000 people in attendance.

  The Bible, explained the Pope, describes Jacob as an astute man who obtains things through deception. At a certain point, he sets out to return to his homeland and face his brother, whose firstborn birthrights he had taken. Jacob waits overnight in order to cross the ford safely but something unforeseen occurs: he is suddenly attacked by an unknown man with whom he struggles the entire night. The story details their struggle, which has no clear winner, leaving the rival a mystery. "Only at the end, when the struggle is finished and that 'someone' has disappeared, only then will Jacob name him and be able to say that he had struggled with God".

  Once the fight is over Jacob says to his opponent that he will only let him go if he blesses him. Jacob "who had defrauded his brother out of the first-born's blessing through deceit, now demands [a blessing] from the unknown man, in whom he perhaps begins to see divine traits, but still without being able to truly recognize him. His rival, who seems restrained and therefore defeated by Jacob, instead of bowing to the Patriarch's request, asks his name. ... In the Biblical mentality, knowing someone's name entails a type of power because it contains the person's deepest reality, revealing their secret and their destiny. ... This is why, when Jacob reveals his name, he is putting himself in his opponent's hands. It is a form of surrender, a complete giving over of himself to the other".

  Paradoxically, however, "in this gesture of surrender, Jacob also becomes the victor because he receives a new name, together with the recognition of his victory on the part of his adversary". The name "Jacob", Benedict XVI continued, "recalls the verb 'to deceive' or 'to supplant'. After the struggle, in a gesture of deliverance and surrender, the Patriarch reveals his reality as a deceiver, a usurper, to his opponent. The other, who is God, however, transforms this negative reality into a positive one. Jacob the deceiver becomes Israel. He is given a new name as a sign of his new identity ... the mostly likely meaning of which is 'God is strong, God wins'. When, in turn, Jacob asks his rival's name, he refuses to say it but reveals himself in an unmistakable gesture, giving his blessing. ... This is not a blessing obtained through deceit but one given freely by God, which Jacob can now receive because, without cunning or deception, he gives himself over unarmed, accepts surrender and admits the truth about himself".

  In the episode of the fight at the ford of Jabbok, the Pope observed, "the people of Israel speak of their origin and outline the features of a unique relationship between God and humanity. This is why, as also affirmed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 'from this account, the spiritual tradition of the Church has retained the symbol of prayer as a battle of faith and as the triumph of perseverance'".

  "Our entire lives", concluded the Holy Father, "are like this long night of struggle and prayer, passed in the desire of and request for God's blessing, which cannot be ripped away or won over through our strength, but must be received with humility from Him as a gratuitous gift that allows us, finally, to recognize the face of the Lord. And when this happens, our entire reality changes: we receive a new name and God's blessing".
AG/                                    VIS 20110525 (620)


VATICAN CITY, 25 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, have been in South Korea since 23 May, invited by the Episcopal Commission for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue.

  According to a communique issued today, meetings with the president of the Republic, the minister of culture, and the director for Religious Affairs are planned for these days.

  They will visit the Jogye Order, the Korean Buddhist Center, and the Korean Confucianism Center.  It is also planned that they will meet with representatives of Buddhism, Confucianism, Won Buddhism, Cheondism, the Association of Native Korean Religions, and Protestant Churches.

  Cardinal Tauran will give a conference at Seoul's major seminary on: "Interreligious Dialogue in the Teachings of Pope Benedict XVI", and will meet with members of the press.

  The visit will conclude on 27 May with the celebration of Holy Mass at the Jeoldu-san Korean Martyrs' Shrine.
CON-DIR/                                VIS 20110525 (150)


VATICAN CITY, 25 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father appointed:

  - Appointed Bishop Jose Corazon T. Tala-oc, of Tomblon, as Bishop of Kalibo (area 1,817, population 565,000, Catholics 525,000, priests 66, religious 53), the Philippines.

  - Appointed Fr. Joao Carlos Hatoa Nunes, pro-vicar general, chancellor of curia, and pastor of St. Francis of Assisi parish, as Auxiliary Bishop of Maputo (area 25,238, population 4,346,000, Catholics 1,030,000, priests 156, religious 418), Mozambique. The bishop-elect was born in Beira, Mozambique in 1968 and was ordained a priest in 1995.
NER:NEA/                                VIS 20110525 (90)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 24 MAY 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, the document "Family: Work and Celebration", the preparatory catecheses for the VII World Meeting of Families, was presented. The gathering will take place in Milan, Italy from 30 May to 3 June in 2012.

  Taking part in the presentation were Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family; Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan; Bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla, auxiliary of that same archdiocese, coordinator of the workgroup responsible for editing the preparatory catecheses and co-president of the academic preparatory committee for the theological-pastoral convention; Fr. Gianfranco Grieco, O.F.M., bureau chief in the Pontifical Council for the Family; and Fr. Davide Milani, head of social communications for the archdiocese of Milan.

  Cardinal Antonelli mentioned that the dicastery over which he presides is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its foundation, just like the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. He further explained that the gathering in Milan in 2012 will be organized in two parts: a theological-pastoral convention on the first three days followed by two days of celebration with the Holy Father in attendance. "The book of catecheses on the theme "Family: Work and Celebration", which was prepared by the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Archdiocese of Milan, has been inestimably helpful in preparing for this gathering. ... It consists of 10 Biblical catecheses accompanied by texts of the Magisterium. The Vatican Publishing House (Libreria Editrice Vaticana) has published it in Italian, English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and Polish, and it can be used directly by ecclesial communities and by families".

  For his part, Cardinal Tettamanzi hoped that the catecheses could "serve as guide for dioceses around the world, transforming into a point of reference that is useful even beyond initiatives of pastoral care for family and work. It is necessary to disseminate the information widely so that, thanks also to translations, these characteristic materials and intuitions do not remain exclusive to just a few and do not simply constitute an intra-ecclesial patrimony".

  Bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla noted that the catecheses "form a trio that begins from the family to open it to the world. Work and celebration are the forms within which the family inhabits social space and lives human time.  ... The first group of catecheses confronts the way of living relationships at home". A home that "necessarily becomes a space of acceptance and a place where a profound intimacy between the couple and between parents and children is safeguarded. ... The second group introduces the theme of work in daily life, ... which cannot be just a means of economic support but the place of personal identity and social relationship. ... The third group concentrates on the manner in which the family celebrates. It is difficult in today's situations to live Sunday as a time of celebration ... modern humanity has invented free time but seems to have forgotten the celebration ... This is why the family needs to engrave on its lifestyle the sense of celebration ... as a community of encounter".

  On 28 March, the Pontifical Council for the Family initiated the site www.familia.va to provide information on the dicastery's activities and main projects. Among other sections is included one dedicated to the World Meeting of Families in Milan.
OP/                                    VIS 20110524 (550)

Monday, May 23, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 21 MAY 2011 (VIS) - This Saturday, Benedict XVI held a conversation with the group of cosmonauts and astronauts aboard the International Space Station, on the occasion of the space shuttle Endeavour's last mission.

  From a room in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace the Pope could see the astronauts on a television screen while they could only hear his voice on an audio channel.

  During the conversation, the Holy Father asked the astronauts five questions. The first: "When you are contemplating the Earth from up there, do you ever wonder about the way nations and people live together down here, or about how science can contribute to the cause of peace?".

  United States astronaut Mark Kelly answered that, from space, you cannot see the borders between the nations, but "we realize that people fight with each other and there is a lot of violence in this world ... The science and the technology that we put into the Space Station to develop a solar power capability, gives us pretty much an unlimited amount of energy. And if those technologies could be adapted more on Earth, we could possibly reduce some of that violence".

  While emphasizing "the responsibility we all have towards the future of our planet", the Pope asked how the astronauts see Earth's situation from their "extraordinary observation point?".

  United States astronaut Ron Garan answered that, "we can see how indescribably beautiful the planet that we have been given is; but on the other hand, we can really clearly see how fragile it is".

  Benedict XVI asked if, "in the midst of your intense work and research", the astronauts ever stop and reflect on the mystery of creation - perhaps even to say a prayer to the Creator? The Italian astronaut Roberto Vittori, who before leaving for space had received a medal from Benedict XVI representing the Creation of Man as painted by Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, responded. On seeing the beauty of the planet, he said, "I do pray: I do pray for me, for our families, for our future".

  The Pope addressed his fifth and final question to the Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, assuring him of his prayers for the astronaut's recently deceased mother and asking him how he was living through this time of sorrow; if on the station he felt "far away and isolated, if you suffer a sense of separation or if you feel united to and included in a community that accompanies you with care and affection?".

    Thanking the pontiff for his prayers on the death of his mother, Nespoli agreed that, being outside the world, "we have a vantage point to see the Earth and to feel everything around us".

  The Holy Father concluded the conversation by thanking them for "this wonderful opportunity to meet and dialogue with you. You have helped me and many other people to reflect together on important issues that regard the future of humanity. I wish you the very best for your work and for the success of your great mission at the service of science, international collaboration, authentic progress, and for peace in the world".
BXVI-ASTRONAUTS/                        VIS 20110523 (510)


VATICAN CITY, 21 MAY 2011 (VIS) - This afternoon in the Paul VI Hall of the Vatican, Benedict XVI met with administrators, teachers, and students of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Italy on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of its foundation.

  The Pope referred to "great and rapid transformations" that are affecting the university: "humanist culture is being affected by a progressive deterioration; ... there exists the tendency to reduce the human horizon to what can be measured, to eliminate the fundamental question of meaning from systematic and critical knowledge". In this sense, he noted that "in the way in which the empirical sciences monopolize the territories of reason, it seems that there is no more room for reasons to believe; the religious dimension is relegated to the sphere of what is opinion and private. In this context, the very motivations and characteristics of the institution of the university are called into question".

  "The Christian perspective", he continued, "is not in contradiction of scientific knowledge or the achievements of human ingenuity. Just the opposite, it considers faith as the horizon of meaning, the path to full truth, and the guide of authentic development. Without an orientation to the truth, without a humble and ardent attitude of investigation, every culture crumbles, decays into relativism, and becomes lost in the ephemeral".

  Benedict XVI emphasized that "faith and culture are indissolubly united, a manifestation of that 'desiderium naturale vivendi Deum' that is present in each human being. When this tie is broken, humanity tends to fold in on itself and become locked within its own creative capacities".

  "The question of Truth and the Absolute - the question of God - ... is the fundamental question upon which the discovery of the meaning of the world and of life depends. ... Knowledge of the faith, therefore, illuminates human research, interprets it, humanizing it, integrates it in projects for the good, rooting out the temptation of calculative thought that instrumentalizes knowledge and turns scientific discoveries into ways of enslaving persons".

  The Holy Father stressed that "the horizon that animates the work of a university can and should be the authentic passion for the human being. ... Serving humanity is doing the truth in love, it is loving life, always respecting it, beginning with the situations in which it is most fragile and defenseless. This is one of our tasks, especially in times of crisis: the history of cultures shows that human dignity has been truly recognized in its totality in the light of the Christian faith".

  "The attitude of closure or detachment in the face of the proposal of faith means forgetting that throughout history, and even today, it has been an impetus of culture and light for human intelligence, a stimulus to develop all its positive capacities for the true good of humanity".

  While highlighting that "the testimony of the faith and of love are inseparable", the Pope noted that "in Jesus we discover that God is love and only in love can we know Him. ... The pinnacle of knowing God is reached in love. ... The human person needs love, needs the truth, in order not to ruin the fragile treasure of freedom and be exposed to the violence of the passions and to clear or hidden conditionings".

  Addressing in particular the professors, Benedict XVI reminded them that they have been entrusted with "a decisive role: showing how the Christian faith can be an impetus of culture and light for the intelligence".

  The Pope concluded, pointing out that "the Chapel is the beating heart that constantly nourishes the life of the university, along with the pastoral centers connected to it where the spiritual assistants of the different branches are called to carry out their precious priestly mission, which is essential for the identity of the Catholic University".
AC/                                    VIS 20110523 (630)


VATICAN CITY, 21 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arabic Republic of Egypt and newly elected Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Mr. Nabil Al-Arabi, during his visit to Rome the past Wednesday, 18 May.

  At this meeting, according to a communique issued today, the minister conveyed the greetings of Sheikh of al-Azhar, Prof. Ahmad Al-Tayyib, and expressed the Grand Imam's desire that the recent difficulties in the relationship with the Holy See would be overcome.

  Cardinal Tauran reiterated the esteem of Pope Benedict XVI for the people and authorities of Egypt and the Holy See's readiness to continue on the path of interreligious dialogue and cooperation with al-Azhar, carried on regularly since 1998.
CON-DIR/                                VIS 20110523 (140)


VATICAN CITY, 21 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Last Wednesday, 18 May, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care spoke at the 64th World Health Assembly underway in Geneva, Switzerland from 16 to 24 May. His address was dedicated to the theme "Guaranteeing Universal Access to Medical Care".

  "The World Health Report 2010", he said, "emphasizes health system financing as the conduit to the much desired universal coverage in health service provision. It also notes with concern that despite the progress made in some countries, on the whole, we are still a long way from universal coverage. This sad fact highlights the need for a true global solidarity, in which high income countries do not only promise, but effectively meet their commitments on development assistance".

  Then, citing the papal encyclical "Caritas in veritate", he noted that, in it, Benedict XVI asserted that "more economically developed nations should do all they can to allocate larger portions of their gross domestic product to development aid, thus respecting the obligations that the international community has undertaken in this regard".

  As regards the World Health Organization's Draft HIV Strategy 2011-2015, "the Holy See appreciates the emphasis laid on eliminating new HIV infections in children and expanding and optimizing HIV treatment and care for them, which up to date has been lagging behind the progress made in treating adults. In this area, the archbishop emphasized "the importance of education in changing human behavior and responsible living as a key element of the prevention campaign".

  Lastly, the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care affirmed that his delegation "fully shares the concerns ... for child injury prevention. ... the Holy See would like to appeal to the international community to support transfer of knowledge on measures and instruments for the prevention of child injury to low- and middle-income countries, where 95% of child injury deaths occur", oftentimes provoked by "long civil wars".
DELSS/                                VIS 20110523 (320)


VATICAN CITY, 22 MAY 2011 (VIS) - "This Sunday's Gospel ... proposes a double mandate of the faith: Believe in God and believe in Jesus. These are not two separate acts but one single act of faith. Full adherence to the salvation worked by the Father through His only Son", the Pope said while praying the Regina Coeli with the faithful gathered today at noon in St. Peter's Square.

  "The New Testament has put an end to the invisibility of the Father", the pontiff continued. "The Son of God, by His incarnation, death, and resurrection has freed us from the slavery of sin, giving us the freedom of sons and daughters of God: He has shown us the face of God, which is love. We can see God, He is visible in Christ".

  "Faith in Jesus means following Him daily in the simple actions that make up our day. ... For Christians, for each of us, therefore, the way toward the Father is letting ourselves be guided by Jesus, by His word of truth, welcoming the gift of His life. ... The challenge of proclaiming Jesus as 'the way, the truth, and the life' constitutes the Church's main task", the Holy Father finished.

  After the Regina Coeli, the Pope greeted pilgrims in Portuguese, showing his joy for the two new Blesseds, Sr.  Maria Clara do Menino Jesus, who was beatified yesterday in Lisbon, Portugal and Sr. Dulce Lopes Pontes, beatified today in San Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

  He also addressed, in English, the World Council of Churches, which is celebrating an International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Kingston, Jamaica in these days. This meeting, said Benedict XVI is the culmination of a decade-long project with the goal of combating all forms of violence. We pray for "this noble intention and recommit ourselves to eliminating violence in families, in society, and in the international community".

  Finally, he greeted representatives of the Pro-Life Movement in Italian, thanking them in particular for "the dedication with which you help women who are facing a difficult pregnancy, as well as engaged and married couples who desire to procreate responsibly; you are thus acting concretely for a culture of life".
ANG/                                    VIS 20110523 (360)


VATICAN CITY, 23 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican the Pope received in separate audiences first the president of the Republic of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, and then the Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Bulgaria, Tsetska Tsacheva, both accompanied by their respective delegations, on the occasion of the annual commemoration of Sts. Cyril and Methodius.

  In his address to the delegation from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Holy Father emphasized that the lives of Sts. Cyril and Methodius "were totally dedicated to their apostolic activity and to the divine intuition of making the message of Revelation understandable and accessible to the peoples, which was a reason of unity for different traditions and cultures. In embracing God's salvific plan, peoples can rediscover the foundations upon which to build civilizations and societies that are characterized by a spirit of reconciliation and peaceful living together. There cannot be true unity without respect for the dignity of each person and their inalienable rights".

  In the later audience with the delegation from the Republic of Bulgaria, the Pope said that "for the European peoples, who in these years are opening themselves to new perspectives of cooperation, these two great saints are a reminder that their unity will be more solid if based on common Christian roots. Effectively, in the complex history of Europe, Christianity represents a central and qualifying element. The Christian faith has shaped the culture of the old continent and is indissolubly interwoven with its history, to the point that this history would not be understandable without reference to the events that characterized, first, the great era of evangelization and, then, the long centuries in which Christianity took on an ever more relevant role. That is why it is important that Europe also grown in a spiritual dimension, following the path of its best history. The unity of the continent, which progressively grows in awareness and is also being defined in its political aspects, represents a perspective of great hope".
AC/                                    VIS 20110523 (330)


VATICAN CITY, 23 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today, in separate audiences, the Holy Father received two prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their ad limina visit:

  - Archbishop Thumma Bala of Hyderbad, and

  - Archbishop Mariadas Kagithapu, M.S.F.S., of Visakhapatnam.

On Saturday, 21 May, the Holy Father received, in separate audiences:

- Five prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their ad limina visit:

  - Bishop John Baptist Thakur, S.J., of Muzaffarpur,

  - Bishop Angelus Kujur, S.J., of Purnea,

  - Bishop Thomas Thiruthalil, C.M., of Balasore,

  - Bishop Sarat Chandra Nayak of Berhampur, and

  - Bishop Lucas Kerketta, S.V.D., of Sambalpur.

- as well as Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
AL:AP/                                VIS 20110523 (110)


VATICAN CITY, 23 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father appointed Fr. Dabula Anthony Mpako, of the clergy of Pretoria, South Africa, as bishop of the diocese of Queenstown (area 25,000, population 2,200,000, Catholics 52,000, priests 22, permanent deacons 10, religious 26), South Africa. The bishop-elect was born in 1959 in Eastern Cape, South Africa, and was ordained in 1986. He is currently pastor of St. Thomas Moore in Monavoni, South Africa.

  On Saturday, 21 May, the Holy Father:

  - appointed Archpriest Mikael Mouradian, formerly patriarchal vicar of the Institute for the Patriarchal Clergy of Bzommar, Lebanon and superior of the convent of Notre Dame of Bzommar, as bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in New York of the Armenians (Catholics 36,000, priests 10, permanent deacons 1, religious 16), USA. The bishop-elect was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1987. He succeeds Bishop Manuel Batakian, I.C.P.B., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same eparchy the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  - appointed Archbishop Thomas E. Gullickson, apostolic nuncio to Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Sts. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, and apostolic delegate in the Antilles, as apostolic nuncio to Ukraine. 

  - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Koudougou, Burkina Faso, presented by Bishop Basile Tapsoba, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
NA:RE:AN/                                VIS 20110523 (240)

Friday, May 20, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Tomorrow, Saturday 21 May, Benedict XVI will connect via satellite with the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) on the occasion of the space shuttle Endeavour's last mission.

  The connection will take place at 1:11pm (Rome time). The Pope will particularly address the two European astronauts of Italian nationality, Paolo Nespoli and Roberto Vittori.

  The event may be followed live on television as will as being streamed on the internet at the Vatican Radio-CTV site.
OP/                                    VIS 20110520 (80)


VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2011 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies of Amman, Jordan held their second Colloquium in Rome from 18 to 19 May. The meeting was presided over by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the pontifical council, and by Prof. Kamel Abu Jaber, director of the institute.

  The theme of the Colloquium was "Human and Religious Values Shared by Christians and Muslims for a Common Education".

  According to a communique made public today, the participants highlighted the following points:

  "1) Christians and Muslims share basic human values like the sacred character of human life, human dignity, and the fundamental inalienable rights deriving from it.

  2) As for the religious values, some of them are common to Christians and Muslims, meanwhile others are specific of each community. It is therefore important to point out commonalities and to identify differences. Respect for differences is in fact an important condition for an authentic dialogue.

  3) Education, religious in particular, should not form identities in antagonism or in conflict, but on the contrary, while helping the youth to be well rooted in their own religious identity, it should favor the formation of identities open to other identities.

  4) A privileged space of common education is that of the schools, institutions and universities, private and public, where Christian and Muslim children and youth study together. Such an experience is to be conserved and cherished, also because it gives the occasion to create strong and permanent friendships".

  The communique concluded with the information that the two parties agreed to meet again within two years and that a preparatory meeting will precede the colloquium.
CON-DIR/                        VIS 20110520 (270)


VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2011 (VIS) - A General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis will take place from 22 to 27 May on the premises of the Domus Mariae Palazzo Carpegna Hotel in Rome. About 300 delegates will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the confederation. Participants will be received in an audience by the Pope and, on the assembly's opening day, the Cardinal Secretary of State will preside over a Eucharistic celebration.

  Caritas Internationalis gathers together 165 national Caritas groups and aims primarily at coordinating their intervention in emergencies and crises. It is currently chaired by Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In 2004, Pope John Paul II granted the organization public canonical legal status both by reason of the nature of the national and diocesan Caritas organizations, which are the official organs of the bishops' charitable efforts, as well as in recognition of the great service that the confederation has expressed for decades for the good of the entire Church as well as for humanity.

  Granting the organization public canonical legal status entailed the need to adapt its statutes so that they would reflect the nature and purpose of Caritas Internationalis and its mission. The assembly will be an important moment for presenting its work carried out in that field and, under the new statues now in force, to proceed to renew the confederation's governing offices. Caritas Internationalis's plan of action for the next four years will also be reflected on during the meeting.
OP/                                                                                                VIS 20110520 (240)


VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today, in separate audiences, the Holy Father received eight prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their ad limina visit:

 - Noel Fahey, the ambassador of Ireland to the Holy See, on his farewell visit.

 - Eight prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their ad limina visit:

    - Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar with Emeritus Archbishop Raphael Cheenath, S.V.D.

    - Bishop Stephen M. Tiru of Khunti.

    - Bishop Aleixo das Neves Dias of Port Blair.

    - Bishop Vincent Barwa of Simdega.

    - Bishop Victor Henry Thakur of Bettiah.

    - Bishop Kurien Valiakandathil of Bhagalpur.

    - Bishop Sebastian Kallupura of Buxar.

  The Holy Father is scheduled to receive this afternoon Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
AP:AL/                                VIS 20110520 (120)


VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father appointed Fr. Vincent Long Van Nguyen, O.F.M.Conv., as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne (area 27,194, population 3,844,000, Catholics 1,085,000, priests 561, permanent deacons 1, religious 1,737), Australia. The bishop-elect was born in 1961 in Dong Nai, Saigon, Vietnam and was ordained to the priesthood in 1989. He was previously assistant general of the Federation of Asian/Australian Minor Conventuals.
NEA/                                    VIS 20110520 (60)

Thursday, May 19, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 19 MAY 2011 (VIS) - This afternoon the Holy Father received students of the "Teresianum" Pontifical Theology Faculty of Rome on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the foundation of their faculty.

  Referring to the academic institution's Carmelite spirituality, the Pope highlighted the "vast movement of renewal that began in the Church as the fruit of the witness of St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross. It aroused that resurgence of ideals and fervor of contemplative life that in the 1500s enflamed, so to speak, Europe and the entire world".

  Addressing the students, Benedict XVI emphasized that "your work of anthropological and theological research is also situated in the wake of this influence, the task of penetrating the mystery of Christ, with intelligence of the heart, which is in turn a knowing and a loving. This demands that Jesus be located at the center of everything, of your feelings and thoughts, of your prayer, study, and work, of your entire life".

  "Be aware", he continued, "that these years of study are a precious gift of Divine Providence, a gift that should be embraced with faith and diligently lived as an unrepeatable opportunity to grow in the knowledge of the mystery of Christ".

  The Pope noted that "in today's context, an in-depth study of Christian spirituality is very important upon which to base your anthropological presuppositions. The specific preparation that it provides is certainly important because it makes one adapt for and capable of teaching this discipline, but it is an even greater grace for the wise cultural background that it brings with it for the delicate task of spiritual direction".

  While recalling that "the Church continues to recommend the practice of spiritual direction", the Holy Father asserted that "each person, and in particular those who have welcomed God's call to follow Him more closely, need to be personally accompanied by a guide who is sure in the doctrine and expert in the things of God; a guide who can help protect against simple subjectivism, making available their own wealth of knowledge and lived experience in following Jesus".

  The Holy Father asked the students to make the most of what they have learned in these years of study "to accompany those whom Divine Providence entrusts to you, helping them discern the spirits and follow the movements of the Holy Spirit, with the goal of leading them to the fullness of grace".

  Commenting on the fact of their meeting in Rome, Benedict XVI encouraged the students "to open yourselves to the universal dimension of the Church, ... to 'sentire cum Ecclesia', in profound harmony with the Successor of Peter" and urged them "to love and serve the Church every day with a greater and more passionate ability".
AC/                                VIS 20110519 (450)


VATICAN CITY, 19 MAY 2011 (VIS) - According to a communique issued today by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, "Educating Young People in Justice and Peace" is the theme that Benedict XVI has chosen for the 45th World Day of Peace this coming 1 January, 2012.

  "The theme", reads the text, "engages an urgent need in the world today: to listen to and enhance the important role of new generations in the realization of the common good, and in the affirmation of a just and peaceful social order where fundamental human rights can be fully expressed and realized".

  "In fact, there is a duty incumbent upon the present generation to prepare future ones, and creating for them the conditions that will allow these future generations to express freely and responsibly the urgency for a 'new world'. The Church welcomes young people and sees them as the sign of an ever promising springtime, and holds out Jesus to them as the model of love who 'makes all things new'".

  "Those responsible for public policy are called to work for the creation of institutions, laws, and environments of life that are permeated by a transcendent humanism that offers new generations opportunities to fully realize themselves (e.g. decent job, education etc.) and to build a civilization of fraternal love directed toward a more profound awareness of truth, freedom, of love, and of justice for all persons".

  "This, then, is the prophetic dimension of the theme chosen by the Holy Father in the path of the 'pedagogy of peace' indicated by John Paul II in 1985 ('Peace and Youth Go Forward Together'), in 1979 ('To Reach Peace, Teach Peace'), and in 2004 ('An Ever Timely Commitment: Teaching Peace')".

  "Young persons must labor for justice and peace in a complex and globalized world.  It is therefore necessary to establish a new 'pedagogical alliance' among all those responsible for the education and formation of young people. The theme indicates an important area of concern in the teaching of Benedict XVI in his Messages for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, beginning with the need for the truth (2006: 'In Truth, Peace'), followed with the reflections on human dignity (2007: 'The Human Person: The Heart of Peace'), on the human family (2008: The Human Family: A Community of Peace'), on poverty (2009: 'Fighting Poverty to Build Peace'), on the care for creation (2010: 'If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation'), on religious freedom (2011: 'Religious Freedom: The Path to Peace), and now talking to the minds and beating hearts of young people: 'Educating Young People in Justice and Peace'".
MESS/                                VIS 20110519 (430)


VATICAN CITY, 19 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced that on Tuesday, 24 May, at 6:15pm, Cardinal Paolo Sardi, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, will take possession of the diaconate of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice in Via Tuscolana at Piazza di Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, 54.
OCL/                                VIS 20110519 (50)


VATICAN CITY, 19 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today, in separate audiences, the Holy Father received eight prelates from the Bishops' Conference of India on their ad limina visit:

  - Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, India with Auxiliary Bishop Binay Kandulna,

  - Bishop William D'Souza of Patna,

  - Bishop Gabriel Kujur of Daltonganj,

  - Bishop Julius Marandi of Dumka,

  - Bishop Paul Alois Lakra of Gumla,

  - Bishop Charles Soreng of Hazaribag, and

  - Bishop Felix Toppo of Jamshedpur.
AL/                                VIS 20110519 (70)


VATICAN CITY, 19 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father appointed as consultors of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization: Msgr. Fernando Ocariz, vicar general of Opus Dei; Fr. Pascual Chavez Villanueva, rector major of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco and president of the Union of Superiors General; Fr. Julian Carron, president of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation and ecclesiastical assistant to the Association "Memores Domini"; Fr. Francois-Xavier Dumortier, S.J., rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome; Fr. Pierangelo Sequeri, vice rector and professor of Fundamental Theology at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy and lecturer in Aesthetics of the Holy at the Academy of Fine Arts in  Brera, Milan; Sr. Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., professor of dogmatic theology at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York; Sr. Mary Lou Wirtz, F.C.J.M., general superior of the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and president of the Union of Superior Generals (UISG); Dr. Chiara Amirante, founder and president of the New Horizons Association of the diocese of Anagni-Alatri, Italy; Mr. Kiko Arguello, a co-initiator of the Neo-Catechumenal Way; Prof. Lucetta Scaraffia, professor of contemporary history in the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at "La Sapienza" University in Rome.

Today the Holy Father appointed Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, as special envoy to the celebrations for the 350th anniversary of the Marian Sanctuary in Werl (Archdiocese of Paderborn) that will take place on 2 July 2011.
NA/                                VIS 20110519 (240)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 18 MAY 2011 (VIS) - After having visited the theme of prayer as a universal phenomenon in the past two Wednesday catecheses, today the Pope began a new Biblical reflection on a theme "that will guide us to deepen the dialogue of covenant between God and humanity that animates the history of salvation until its fullness ... in Christ".

  Addressing the pilgrims present in this Wednesday's general audience in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI explained that "Abraham, the great patriarch, father of all believers", offers us the first example of a prayer of intercession when God told him of His plan to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, "because of the wickedness of its inhabitants".

  The Patriarch, the Pope said, "did not limit himself to asking for the salvation of the innocent but also implored forgiveness for the entire city, appealing to God's justice", a divine justice that "seeks the good and creates it by means of a forgiveness that transforms the sinners, converting and saving them".

  "Abraham's thought, that seems almost paradoxical, can be summarized thus: of course the innocent cannot be treated like the guilty, that would be unjust; instead the guilty need to be treated as the innocent, applying a 'higher' justice, offering them the possibility of salvation because, if the evildoers accept God's forgiveness and confess their blame, letting themselves be saved, they will not continue doing evil but will also become just, no longer needing to be punished".

  Emphasizing that "forgiveness breaks the spiral of sin", the Pope noted that "Abraham, in his dialogue with God, asks exactly for that ... through his intercession, his prayer to God for the salvation of the others, he demonstrates and expresses the desire for salvation that God always nurtures for the sinner. Evil cannot be accepted. It must be pointed out and destroyed through punishment. the destruction of Sodom had precisely this function. The Lord, however, did not wish the death of the wicked but that they convert and live: His desire is always to forgive, to save, to give life, and to transform evil into good".

  The Pope stressed that "a transformation from within is necessary, a pretext for good, a beginning of what sets in motion the transformation from evil into good, hatred into love, and vengeance into forgiveness".

  "However, God's mercy in the history of His people extends even further. ... The infinite and surprising love of God will be made fully manifest when the Son of God becomes man, the definitive Just One, the perfect Innocent who will bring salvation to the entire world with His death on the cross, forgiving and interceding for those who 'know not what they do'. Then, each person's daily prayer will find its answer, then all our intercessions will be fully granted".

  Benedict XVI ended by asking that "the prayer of Abraham, our father in the faith, teach us to open our hearts more and more to God's overabundant mercy, so that in our daily prayer we might know how to desire the salvation of humanity and to ask for it with perseverance and with confidence in the Lord who is great in love".
AG/                                    VIS 20110518 (520)


VATICAN CITY, 18 MAY 2011 (VIS) - At the end of this morning's general audience in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI spoke briefly about the Church in China. Next Tuesday, 24 May, is the day dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, who is venerated with great devotion at the Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai. The Pope took this opportunity to invite the faithful everywhere to join in prayer with and for the Church in China.

  While the Church in China is growing, Christ there, as in other places around the world is still rejected, ignored, or persecuted. The Holy Father asked "all Chinese Catholics to continue and to deepen their own prayers, especially to Mary, the powerful Virgin. At the same time all Catholics throughout the world have a duty to pray for the Church in China: those members of the faithful have a right to our prayers, they need our prayers".

  "Chinese Catholics, as they have said many times, want unity with the universal Church, with the Supreme Pastor, with the Successor of Peter. By our prayers we can obtain for the Church in China that it remain one, holy and Catholic, faithful and steadfast in doctrine and in ecclesial discipline".

  Although many Chinese bishops, priests, and faithful encounter difficulties in freely professing their faith, with our prayers, the Pope emphasized that "we can help them to find the path to keep their faith alive, to keep their hope strong, to keep their love for all people ardent, and to maintain in its integrity the ecclesiology that we have received from the Lord and the Apostles ".

  In conclusion, the Holy Father asked Mary "to enlighten those who are in doubt, to call back the straying, to console the afflicted, and to strengthen those who are ensnared by the allure of opportunism".
AG/                                    VIS 20110518 (250)


VATICAN CITY, 18 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Cali, Colombia presented by Archbishop Juan Francisco Sarasti Jaramillo, C.I.M., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Dario de Jesus Monsalve Mejia.
RE:NER/                                VIS 20110518 (50)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 17 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Pope Benedict XVI will make an apostolic visit to Croatia from 4 to 5 June for the celebrations of the National Croatian Catholic Families Day. For this occasion, statistics have been compiled concerning the Catholic Church in that country. The information, updated to 31 December 2009, comes from the Central Statistical Office of the Church.

  Croatia, whose capital is Zagreb, has a population of 4,429,000, of whom 3,981,000 (89.88%) are Catholic. There are 17 ecclesiastical circumscriptions and 1,598 parishes. There are currently 25 bishops, 2,343 priests, 3,711 religious, 44 lay members of secular institutes, and 1,912 catechists. Minor seminarians number 149 and major seminarians 438.

  A total of 13,362 students attend the 41 centers of Catholic education, from kindergartens to university. Other charitable and social organizations belonging to the Church or run by priests or religious in Croatia include: 1 hospital, 30 homes for the elderly or disabled, 53 orphanages and nurseries, 14 family counseling and other pro-life centers, 16 centers for social education or rehabilitation, and 6 institutions of other kinds.
OP/                                    VIS 20110517 (170)


VATICAN CITY, 17 MAY 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father is scheduled to meet with Archbishop Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, in an audience this afternoon.
AP/                                    VIS 20110517 (20)


VATICAN CITY, 17 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father:

- accepted the resignation of Bishop Joaquim Goncalves from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Vila Real, upon having reached the age limit. Bishop Amandio Jose Tomas,  previously coadjutor of the same diocese, succeeds him.

- appointed Bishop Robert Daniel Conlon, of Steubenville, as bishop of Joliet in Illinois (area 10,920, population 1,904,000, Catholics 655,415, priests 283, permanent deacons 209, religious 669), USA.
NER:RE/                                VIS 20110517 (70)


VATICAN CITY, 17 MAY 2011 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

- Cardinal Vicente Garcia-Gasco, archbishop emeritus of Valencia, Spain, on 1 May at the age of 80.

- Bishop Luigi Del Gallo Roccagiovine, on 12 May at the age of 88.

- Archbishop Gheorghe Gutiu, bishop emeritus of Cluj-Gherla of the Romanians, Romania on 8 May at the age of 87.

- Archbishop Jacques Georges Habib Hafouri, emeritus of Hassake-Nisibi of the Syrians, Syria, on 4 May at the age of 94.

- Archbishop Albert Kanene Obiefuna, emeritus of Onitsha, Nigeria, on 11 May at the age of 81.
.../                                    VIS 20110517 (90)

Monday, May 16, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 14 MAY 2011 (VIS).- At midday today the Holy Father received the participants in the General Assembly of the Pontifical Missionary Works, which reports to the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

  The Pope highlighted in his address that "the Church must constantly renew her commitment to bringing Christ to the people, to continue her messianic mission for the coming of the Kingdom of God ... It is therefore necessary to continue the work of evangelisation with renewed enthusiasm ... to lead humankind to the true freedom of the sons of God, against all forms of slavery. It is necessary to cast the net of the Gospel into the waters of history to lead mankind toward the land of God".

  "But in order that there be a decisive commitment to evangelisation, it is necessary that all Christians and communities truly believe that the 'Word of God is the saving truth needed by all men in all times'. If this conviction of faith is not deeply rooted in our life, we are not able to feel the passion and the beauty of announcing it".

  After highlighting that "everyone must be involved in this 'missio ad gentes': bishops, priests, religious and laity", Benedict XVI remarked that "it is necessary, therefore, to devote special attention to ensuring that all sectors of pastoral care, of the catechesis, of charity, are characterised by a missionary element: the Church is a mission".

  "A fundamental condition for announcing the faith is to allow oneself to be completely encompassed by Christ, Word of God incarnate", he continued, "as only by being deeply rooted in Christ and his Word may one be able to resist the temptation to reduce evangelisation to a merely human, social project, neglecting the transcendental dimension of the salvation offered by God in Christ. It is a Word that must be testified to and proclaimed explicitly, as without coherent testimony it is less comprehensible and credible".

  The Pope stressed that "the ministry of evangelisation is fascinating and demanding: it requires love for proclamation and bearing testimony, a love so complete that it may lead even to martyrdom. The Church must not forsake its mission to reveal the light of Christ, to proclaim the good news of the Gospel, even if this may lead to persecution. It is a part of her very life itself, as it was for Jesus. Christians must not be afraid, even if they are 'the religious group which suffers most from persecution on account of its faith'".

  The Holy Father concluded by expressing his gratitude for "the work in missionary promotion and formation" of the Pontifical Missionary Works, which he described as "a privileged tool for missionary co-operation and for the effective sharing of personnel and financial resources between Churches".
AC/                                        VIS 20110516 (470)


VATICAN CITY, 20 APR 2010 (VIS) - Below are highlights of the activities and trips to be undertaken by Pope Benedict XVI between the months of May and September.


 - Thursday, 26: In the Basilica of St. Mary Major, at 5.30 pm, Rosary with the bishops of the Italian Episcopal Conference and consecration of Italy to the Virgin Mary on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of political union.


 - Saturday 4 to Sunday 5: Apostolic trip to Croatia.

 - Sunday 12: Solemnity of Pentecost: Mass at 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica.

 - Sunday 19: Solemnity of the Holy Trinity. Pastoral visit to the Republic of San Marino.

 - Thursday 23: Solemnity of Corpus Christi. Mass at 7.30 p.m. in the basilica of St. John Lateran, procession to the basilica of St. Mary Major and Eucharistic blessing.

 - Wednesday 29: Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles. Mass at 9.30 a.m. in St. Peter's Basilica and imposition of the pallium on new metropolitan archbishops.


 - Monday 15: Solemnity of the Assumption. Mass at 8.00 am in the parish church of St. Thomas of Villanova (Castelgandolfo).

 - Thursday 18 to Sunday 21: Apostolic trip to Madrid (Spain) on the occasion of the XXVI World Youth Day.


 - Sunday 11: Pastoral visit to Ancona (Italy).

- Thursday 22 to Sunday 25: Apostolic trip to Germany.
OCL/                                    VIS 20110516 (240)
Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service