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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...[]

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Friday, April 1, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 1 APR 2011 (VIS) - In the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace at 9 a.m. today, in the presence of the Holy Father, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa O.F.M. Cap., preacher of the Pontifical Household, delivered the second of his Lenten sermons. The theme of his meditations this year is: "Above all, clothe yourselves with love". The first sermon was delivered on Friday 24 March and the next two are due to be given on Friday 8 and Friday 15 April.
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VATICAN CITY, 1 APR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram to Bishop Bosco Puthur of the Major Archiepiscopal Curia of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars, India, for the death at the age of 83 of Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil C.SS.R., Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly.

  "I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly. I offer you, the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the entire Syro-Malabar Church my deepest condolences and the assurance of my prayers. I recall with gratitude the cardinal's dedication and service to the Syro-Malabars and to the universal Church. I join you and all who mourn him, including the members of the late cardinal's family, in commending his soul to the infinite mercy of God our loving Father. To all assembled for the solemn funeral liturgy, I cordially impart my apostolic blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in the Lord".
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VATICAN CITY, 1 APR 2011 (VIS) - At midday the Holy See Press Office published an informative note announcing that "today, 1 April, marks the coming into force of Law 127 concerning the prevention and countering of the laundering of proceeds from criminal activities and of the financing of terrorism. The Law was published on 30 December 2010 together with the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI's "Motu Proprio" Apostolic Letter on the same subject. The Law and the Motu Proprio constitute an event of great importance which has wide-reaching moral and pastoral implications".

  Today's note also explains how "the offices and organisations obliged to respect the new Law include the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), as well as other institutions dependent on Vatican City State and on the Holy See, or that are associated with the latter.

  "The Regulation concerning the transportation of money in cash also comes into force today", the note adds. This new rule "does not forbid carrying sums greater than 10,000 (ten thousand) euro when entering or leaving Vatican City State, but it does stipulate that they be declared to the offices and organisations obligated by the anti-money laundering legislation, where an operation is to be carried out, or to the Corps of the Gendarmerie at the entrance to the State. ... The failure or partial failure to meet this obligation to declare will be punished with an administrative sanction".

  Finally the note explains that "last month Marcello Condemi and Francesco Di Pasquale, respectively substitute president and director of the Financial Information Authority, participated on behalf of the Holy See and of the Financial Information Authority itself at the third meeting on the application of the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism. The convention was signed in Warsaw, Poland, in 2005".

  Condemi and Di Pasquale "also had the opportunity to meet with members of MONEYVAL, an office of the Council of Europe charged with examining anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism laws, including those of the Holy See. In coming days they will attend the thirty-fifth plenary assembly of MONEYVAL in Strasbourg, during which attention will also be given to the Holy See's proposal to submit its own anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism measures for examination by that office".
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VATICAN CITY, 1 APR 2011 (VIS) - The Bilateral Commission of Delegations of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews celebrated its tenth meeting in Jerusalem from 29 to 31 March. The meeting - presided by Chief Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen and by Cardinal Jorge Maria Mejia, archivist and librarian emeritus of Holy Roman Church - discussed the challenges of faith and religious leadership in secular society.

  At the end of its meeting the commission published an English-language communique stating that the deliberations "sought to define the challenges that modern secular society faces. In addition to its many benefits; rapid technological advancement, rampant consumerism, and a nihilistic ideology with an exaggerated focus on the individual at the expense of the community and collective wellbeing, have led to a moral crisis. Together with the benefits of emancipation, the last century has witnessed unparalleled violence and barbarity. Our modern world is substantially bereft of a sense of belonging, meaning and purpose".

  Religious leaders, the text continues, "have a critical role in responding to these realities, in providing both hope and moral guidance derived from the awareness of the Divine Presence and the Divine Image in all human beings. ... The biblical description of Moses was presented as a paradigm of religious leadership who, through his encounter with God, responds to the Divine call with total faith, loving his people, declaring the Word of God without fear, embodying freedom and courage, and an authority that comes from obeying God always and unconditionally, and listening to all, ready for dialogue".

  "The bilateral commission expressed the hope that the outstanding matters in the negotiations between the Holy See and the State of Israel would soon be resolved, and bilateral agreements speedily ratified for the benefit of both communities. The Catholic delegation took the opportunity to reiterate the historic teaching of the Vatican Council II Declaration 'Nostra Aetate' regarding the Divine Covenant with the Jewish People, ... and recalled the prayer for peace of Pope Benedict XVI when receiving the bilateral delegation in Rome on March 12 2009".
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VATICAN CITY, 1 APR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, accompanied by Bishop Alan Stephen Hopes, auxiliary of Westminster, England, and by Msgr. Keith Newton, ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

 - Bishop Bosco Puthur of the Major Archiepiscopal Curia of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his "ad limina" visit, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Thomas Chakiath and Sebastian Adayanthrath.

 - Bishop George Punnakottil of Kothamangalam of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his "ad limina" visit.

 - Bishop Lawrence Mukkuzhy of Belthangady of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his "ad limina" visit.

 - Bishop Joseph Arumachadath M.C.B.S. of Bhadravathi of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his "ad limina" visit.

 - Bishop Jose Porunnedom of Mananthavady of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his "ad limina" visit.

 - Bishop George Njaralakatt of Mandya of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his "ad limina" visit.

 - Bishop Remigiose Inchananiyil of Thamarasserry of the Syro-Malabars, India, on his "ad limina" visit.
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VATICAN CITY, 1 APR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Peter Holiday of the clergy of the archdiocese of Johannesburg, South Africa, pastor of Our Lady of the Wayside in Maryvale, as bishop of Kroonstad (area 30,248, population 946,000, Catholics 87,230, priests 19, religious 14), South Africa. The bishop-elect was born in Durban, South Africa in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1992.
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