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

Thursday, March 3, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 3 MAR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

  "This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Sebastian Pinera Echenique, president of the Republic of Chile. The president subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "During the cordial discussions attention focused on questions of mutual interest, such as the protection of human life and the family, aid for integral development, the fight against poverty, respect for human rights, social justice and peace. In this context, the positive role played by Catholic institutions in Chilean society was reiterated, especially in human promotion and education.

  "The discussions then turned to consider the general situation in Latin America, it being noted that the views of the Holy See and the Chilean government converge on the fundamental values of human coexistence".
OP/                                    VIS 20110303 (170)


VATICAN CITY, 3 MAR 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Benedict XVI received a group of prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

  Addressing them in English, the Pope mentioned the pastoral challenges confronting the country. "Among them, one of the most important is the task of ongoing catechetical formation. The deep personal piety of your people needs to be nourished and supported by a profound understanding of and appreciation for the teachings of the Church in matters of faith and morals. Indeed, these elements are required in order for the human heart to give its full and proper response to God", he said.

  The Holy Father likewise called on the bishops not to fail to include "outreach to families" in their catechesis, "with particular care for parents in their role as the first educators of their children in the faith".

  "As diocesan bishops you never face any challenge alone, being assisted first and foremost by your clergy", Pope Benedict XVI remarked, going on to highlight the prelates' "particular duty to know your priests well and to guide them with sincere concern, while priests are always to be prepared to fulfil humbly and faithfully the tasks entrusted to them".

  "Many of your dioceses already have in place programmes of continuing formation for young priests", he said, noting how "older priests who have proven themselves to be faithful servants of the Lord ... can guide their younger confreres along the path towards a mature and well-balanced way of priestly living.

  "Moreover", the Pope added, "priests of all ages require ongoing care. Regular days of recollection, yearly retreats and convocations, as well as programmes for continuing education and assistance for priests who may be facing difficulties, are to be promoted. I am confident that you will also find ways to support those priests whose assignments leave them isolated".

  "In accordance with their solemn promises at ordination, remind your priests of their commitment to celibacy, obedience, and an ever greater dedication to pastoral service. In living out their promises, these men will become true spiritual fathers with a personal and psychological maturity that will grow to mirror the paternity of God".

  The Holy Father then went on to emphasise that "dialogue with other religions remains a high priority, especially in the southern areas of your country. While the Church proclaims without fail that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, nevertheless she respects all that is true and good in other religions, and she seeks, with prudence and charity, to enter into an honest and amicable dialogue with the followers of those religions whenever possible. In doing so, the Church works toward mutual understanding and the advancement of the common good of humanity. I commend you for the work you have already done and I encourage you, by means of the dialogue that has been established, to continue to promote the path to true and lasting peace with all of your neighbours, never failing to treat each person, no matter his or her beliefs, as created in the image of God".

  And the Pope concluded: "The greatest good that we can offer those whom we serve is given to us in the Eucharist. In the Holy Mass, the faithful receive the grace needed to be transformed in Jesus Christ. It is heartening that many Filipinos attend Sunday Mass, but this does not leave room for complacency on your part as shepherds. It is your task, and that of your priests, never to grow weary in pursuing the lost sheep, making sure that all the faithful draw life from the great gift given to us in the sacred Mysteries".
AL/                                    VIS 20110303 (630)


VATICAN CITY, 3 MAR 2011 (VIS) - A joint declaration of the twenty-first International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee Meeting was published at midday today. The meeting was held in Paris, France from 27 February to 2 March.

  "The conference, titled 'Forty Years of Dialogue - Reflections and Future Perspectives' addressed the past, present and future of Catholic-Jewish dialogue in its international settings", reads the English-language declaration.

  "The conference highlighted the positive relationship that began with Vatican Council II and the promulgation of 'Nostra Aetate' (the declaration on the relationship of the Church to non-Christian Religions) in 1965".

  "A principal outcome of the conference was the deepening of personal relationships and of a shared desire to confront together the enormous challenges facing Catholics and Jews in a world in rapid and unpredictable transformation".

  "The conference acknowledged contemporaneous events taking place in parts of Northern Africa and the Middle East where millions of human beings are expressing their thirst for dignity and freedom. In many parts of the world, minorities, especially religious minorities, are discriminated against, threatened by unjust restrictions of their religious liberty, and even subjected to persecution and murder. Speakers expressed a profound sadness at repeated instances of violence or terrorism 'in the name of God', including the increased attacks against Christians, and calls for the destruction of the State of Israel".
OP/                                    VIS 20110303 (230)


VATICAN CITY, 3 MAR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Jan Vokal of the clergy of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, official of the Secretariat of State, as bishop of Hradec Kralove (area 11,650, population 1,266,000, Catholics 452,000, priests 225, permanent deacons 26, religious 306). The bishop-elect was born in Hlinsko, Czech Republic in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1989.
NER/                                    VIS 20110303 (70)


VATICAN CITY, 3 MAR 2011 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

 - Bishop Hernan Alvarado Solano, apostolic vicar of Guapi, Colombia, on 31 January at the age of 65.

 - Bishop Jesus Maria Coronado Caro S.D.B., emeritus of Duitama-Sogamoso, Colombia, on 1 January at the age of 92.

 - Bishop Eduardo Davino, emeritus of Palestrina, Italy, on 20 January at the age of 81.

 - Archbishop Emanuele Gerada, apostolic nuncio, on 21 January at the age of 90.

 - Bishop Francis Anthony Gomes, emeritus of Mymensingh, Bangladesh, on 17 February at the age of 79.

 - His Beatitude Jean Pierre XVIII Kasparian, patriarch emeritus of Cilicia of the Armenians, Lebanon, on 16 January at the age of 83.

 - Archbishop Emilio Ognenovich, emeritus of Mercedes-Lujan, Argentina, on 29 January at the age of 88.

 - Bishop Gustave Olombe Atelumbu Musilamu, emeritus of Wamba, Democratic Republic of Congo, on 17 February at the age of 83.

 - Bishop Manoel Pestana Filho, emeritus of Anapolis, Brazil, on 8 January at the age of 82.

 - Bishop Reinaldo Ernst Punder of Coroata, Brazil, on 16 January at the age of 72.

 - Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia, emeritus of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico, on 24 January at the age of 86.

 - Bishop Eugenio Salessu, emeritus of Malanje, Angola, on 20 January at the age of 87.

 - Bishop Jacques Sarr of Thies, Senegal, on 18 January at the age of 76.

 - Bishop John James Ward, former auxiliary of Los Angeles, U.S.A., on 10 January at the age of 90.

 - Archbishop Jozef Miroslaw Zycinski of Lublin, Poland, on 10 February at the age of 62.
.../                                    VIS 20110303 (280)
Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service