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Monday, January 31, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 29 JAN 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Benedict XVI received priests and seminarians of the Pontifical Ethiopian College in a meeting to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of St. Justin de Jacobis (1800-1860), patron of that institution.

  St. Justin "was a worthy son of St. Vincent de Paul who put the principle of 'being everything for everyone' into exemplary practice, especially in his service to the people of Abyssinia. At the age of thirty-eight he was sent by Cardinal Franzoni, then prefect of the Propaganda Fide, as a missionary to Ethiopia, ... where he founded a seminary called the "College of Mary Immaculate".

  "He learned the local language, championed the centuries-old liturgical tradition of the rites of those communities, as well as working effectively towards ecumenism", said the Pope. "His particular passion for education, especially the formation of priests, means that he can justly be considered as the patron of your college. Indeed, this worthy institution still welcomes priests and candidates to the priesthood, supporting them in their theological, spiritual and pastoral preparations".

  The Holy Father called on the priests, when returning to their communities of origin or assisting their compatriots abroad, "to arouse in everyone a love for God and the Church, following the example of St. Justin de Jacobis. He crowned his fruitful contribution to the religious and civil life of the Abyssinian peoples with the gift of his own life, silently restored to God after much suffering and persecution. He was beatified by Venerable Pius XII on 25 June 1939 and canonised by Servant of God Paul VI on 26 October 1975.

  "The way of sanctity also lies open to you, dear priests and seminarians", Pope Benedict added. "Sanctity lies at the very heart of the ecclesial mystery; it is the vocation to which we are all called. Saints are not some exterior ornamentation of the Church; rather, they are like the flowers of a tree which testify to the endless vitality of the lymph flowing through it. It is good to see the Church like this, in ascension towards the fullness of the 'Vir perfectus'; in continual, demanding, progressive maturation; dynamically driven towards complete fulfilment in Christ".

  Benedict XVI concluded by encouraging the members of the Pontifical Ethiopian College "to live this important period of your formation, in the shadow of the dome of St. Peter's, with joy and dedication. Walk resolutely along the path of sanctity. You are a sign of hope, especially for the Church in your countries of origin. I am certain that the experience of communion you have experienced here in Rome will also help you to make a precious contribution to growth and peaceful coexistence in your own beloved nations".
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VATICAN CITY, 29 JAN 2011 (VIS) - Made public today was a video message of the Holy Father to students, staff and alumni of the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, for the four-hundredth anniversary of its foundation.

  Speaking English the Pope gratefully recalls "the many clergy, religious and laity who, at Santo Tomas, have handed down to generations of Filipinos the faith, knowledge and wisdom to be found in the religious and secular sciences".

  "In particular", he adds, "I salute the memory of your founder, Bishop Miguel de Benavides, and the great commitment of the Dominicans who have guided the institution through the many challenges of the past four centuries. As you know, the University of Santo Tomas is the oldest institution of Catholic higher education in the Far East and it continues to play a very important role in the Church throughout the region.

  "I am confident", the Holy Father concludes, "that, keeping in mind the faith and reason that are always part of a truly integrated approach to education, your university will continue to contribute to the intellectual, spiritual and cultural enrichment of the Philippines and beyond".
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VATICAN CITY, 29 JAN 2011 (VIS) - Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, has written a message for the fifty-eighth World Leprosy Day, which falls on 30 January. The message is entitled: "Uniting our efforts for a better expression of justice and love towards leprosy sufferers".

  This World Day, Archbishop Zimowski writes, is an opportunity "to reiterate our gratitude for the commitment of millions of workers, professionals and volunteers from the fields of healthcare, society, politics and the media, who have helped and continue to help leprosy sufferers". In this context, he expresses particular thanks to the Raoul Follereau Association, which is soon to celebrate its sixtieth anniversary.

  "The lethal impact of leprosy", he continues, "has been considerably reduced following the development of effective pharmacological treatments. Yet it continues to provoke suffering, disability and social exclusion, causing ignorance, inequality and discrimination to prosper which, in their turn, promote the spread of the disease. ... There is still a serious lack of structures, both for early diagnosis of the infection, and for the social and professional rehabilitation of people who have been cured but remain mutilated by Hansen's disease. We must promote a more widespread education of communities and peoples, so that they understand that those who have been cured no longer represent any threat of infection to others and must be helped to reinsert themselves into society".

  Quoting from the Pope's Message for the twenty-fifth international conference of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, Archbishop Zimowski notes how, "also in the field of healthcare - which is an integral part of individual life and of the common good - it is important to establish true distributive justice which guarantees everyone adequate care on the basis of objective needs. Consequently, the world of healthcare cannot divorce itself from moral rules, which must govern it in order to ensure it does not become inhuman".

  On the eve of World Leprosy Day, the president of the pontifical council also mentions the efforts made by people within the Church "who, in many cases, committed themselves even unto the sacrifice of their own lives for the victims of Hansen's disease", in which context he mentioned the Canadian Cardinal Paul-Emile Leger, the Belgian St. Damian de Veuster and the Polish Blessed Jan Beyzym.
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VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2011 (VIS) - At midday today, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square, including young people from Catholic Action in the diocese of Rome who traditionally dedicate the month of January to their "Caravan of Peace" initiative. After the Angelus, a boy and girl from Catholic Action joined the Holy Father at his window to release two white doves as a sign of peace.

  Before the Marian prayer the Pope commented on this Sunday's reading from the Gospel, in which St. Matthew recounts Jesus' first pubic address to the multitudes on the hills around Lake Galilee, known as the Sermon on the Mount or the Beatitudes, in which He describes as blessed the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the merciful, the pure in heart and the persecuted.

  "The Beatitudes", said the Pope, are a new programme for life, to free ourselves from the false values of the world and open ourselves to true goodness, now and in the future. When, in fact, God consoles, when He satisfies hunger for justice or dries the tears of the afflicted, this means that, apart from rewarding each person in material terms, He opens the Kingdom of Heaven. The Beatitudes are the transposition of the cross and the resurrection into the lives of the disciples. They reflect the life of the Son of God Who allowed himself to be persecuted and despised, even unto being sentenced to death, so that mankind might receive salvation".

  "For this reason the Church does not fear poverty, humiliation or persecution in a society often attracted by material wellbeing and worldly power", the Holy Father said.

  After praying the Angelus he recalled how this Sunday also marks World Leprosy Day, which was instituted in the 1950s by Raoul Follereau and is recognised by the United Nations. "Leprosy, though in regression, unfortunately still affects many people who live in conditions of dire poverty. To all leprosy sufferers, I give assurances of my prayers, which I extend to the people who assist them and to those who, in various ways, are committed to eradicating Hansen's disease".

  He then addressed some remarks to the people of various Far Eastern States, who are currently celebrating the new lunar year. "To all those great peoples, my heartfelt best wishes for serenity and prosperity", he said.

  Finally the Pope noted that today also marks the International Day of Intercession for Peace in the Holy Land. "I join the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Custos of the Holy Land", he said, "in inviting everyone to pray to the Lord that hearts and minds may converge on authentic projects of peace".
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VATICAN CITY, 31 JAN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 - Bishop Javier Echevarria Rodriguez, prelate of the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei.
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VATICAN CITY, 31 JAN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Mauro Maria Morfino S.D.B., professor of Holy Scripture at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Sardinia, as bishop of Alghero-Bosa (area 2,012, population 106,300, Catholics 105,650, priests 87, permanent deacons 7, religious 176), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Arborea, Italy in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1986.

  On Saturday 29 January it was made public that he appointed

 - Fr. Eusebio Hernandez Sola O.A.R., bureau chief at the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, as bishop of Tarazona (area 4,514, population 91,414, Catholics 74,201, priests 94, religious 115), Spain. The bishop-elect was born in Carcar, Spain in 1944 and ordained a priest in 1968.

 - As members of the Council of Cardinals and Bishops of the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State: Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary; Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli, penitentiary major of the Apostolic Penitentiary, and Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.

 - As members of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples: Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family; Archbishop Cyril Vasil S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Bishop Antoine Audo S.J. of Aleppo of the Chaldeans, Syria; Bishop John Charles Wester of Salt Lake City, U.S.A.; Bishop Luigi Negri of San Marino-Montefeltro, Italy, and Bishop Guerino Di Tora, auxiliary of Rome.

 - As consultors of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples: Msgr. Jacques Harel, national consultant for the Apostolate of the Sea in Mauritius; Fr. Maurizio Pettena C.S., director of the office for migrants of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference; Paolo Morozzo Della Rocca, professor of the faculty of jurisprudence at the University of Urbino, Italy; Christopher Hein, director of the Italian Council for Refugees, and Laura Zanfrini, professor of the faculty of sociology at the Sacred Heart Catholic University in Milan, Italy.

 - Msgr. Robert Golebiowski, notary of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, as substitute defender of the bond at the same tribunal.
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