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Friday, March 4, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 4 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 Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, president of the Republic of Iceland. 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 special mention was made of the good relationship that has linked Iceland to the Holy See and which is symbolically represented in the person of Gudridur Thorbjarnardottir, pioneer of the Christian faith on the Island, and a sculpture of whom the Icelandic Head of State has given to the Holy Father in memory of the pilgrimage to Rome he made shortly after the year 1000, during which she met with the successor of Saint Peter.

  "During the audience, emphasis was given to the high esteem enjoyed by the small Catholic  community in Iceland, alongside the valid contribution it offers to Icelandic society through its initiatives in educational and social fields, particularly in the current economic circumstances. Themes of common interest at national and international level were then considered, with particular attention to the role of traditional values in the construction of the Nation and the contribution of Iceland in the promotion of peace, the peaceful co-existence of its various communities, and in environmental protection".
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VATICAN CITY, 4 MAR 2011 (VIS) - The Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, this morning presented in the Holy See Press Office the "Lineamenta" (Guidelines) for the XIII General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will be held at the Vatican from 7 to 28 October 2012, on the theme of "The new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith".

  The "Guidelines", or first draft on the theme of the Synod, is published in eight languages: Latin, French, English, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and German, and consists of a prologue, an introduction, three chapters and a conclusion. The text includes a general questionnaire regarding the issues under examination. Responses -71- are to be submitted to the Secretary General of the Synod by 1 November 2011, the Solemnity of All Saints. The summary of the responses shall constitute the "Instrumentum laboris" or working document of the Synod.

  In the Preface, explains the Archbishop Eterovic, "a distinction is drawn between evangelization as a regular activity of the Church; the first approach "ad gentes", to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ, and the new evangelization which is directed towards those who have moved away from the Church, those who have been baptized but not sufficiently evangelized".

  "In the Introduction it is emphasized that the XIII Synod Assembly takes place within the context of the renewed ecumenical commitment to evangelization undertaken by the Church following the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council".

  The first chapter, entitled "Time for a "New Evangelization", is described as "the birth of the concept of new evangelization and its diffusion throughout the Pontificates of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI".

  This section lists the "six sectors" which the Church has to confront in order to be "equal to the challenges posed to the Christian faith by today's social and cultural context". These six sectors are: secularization, immigration, communication, the economic sector, scientific and technological research and the political sector.

  "Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ" is the title of the second chapter, which asserts that "the aim of evangelization and more specifically of the new evangelization is the proclamation of the Gospel and the transmission of faith. The Gospel is to be understood not as a book or a doctrine, but rather as a person: Jesus Christ, the definitive Word of God, who made himself a man".

  The third chapter, "Initiation into the Christian experience", "reinvites", says the Secretary General of the Synod, "reflection on the tools of the Church for introducing the faith and, in particular, Christian initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Communion".

  Finally, the Conclusion reaffirms that "the new evangelization should aim to revive in the original enthusiasm in Christians, a new mission that should involve all members of God's Community".

  Furthermore, Msgr. Fortunato Frezza, undersecretary of the General Secretariat of Synod of Bishops, reiterated that "the very name 'synod' (synodos) means journey in communion" and  underlined the responsibility of the Synod to proceed "with the sign of the times, with the discernment and dynamism appropriate to the Church, the faith and the Works of faith and pastoral care".
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VATICAN CITY, 4 MAR 2011 (VIS) - At 4.30 p.m. on March 9, Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, Benedict XVI will preside at a moment of prayer in the church of St. Anselm on Rome's Aventine Hill. There will follow a penitential procession to the basilica of Santa Sabina attended by cardinals, archbishops, bishops, the Benedictine monks of St. Anselm, the Dominican Fathers of Santa Sabina and lay faithful.

  Following the procession, the Pope will preside at a Eucharistic celebration in the basilica of Santa Sabina, with the traditional rite of blessing and the imposition of the ashes.
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VATICAN CITY, 4 MAR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

-  Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

- Emilio Marin, ambassador of Croatia, with his wife, on his farewell visit.
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