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Thursday, May 5, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 5 MAY 2011 (VIS) - This afternoon in the Vatican's Clementine Hall Benedict XVI received members of the Papal Foundation on their annual visit to Rome.

  "This meeting", the Pope said, "gives me a welcome opportunity to renew my thanks for the important contribution which the Foundation makes to the Church's mission by its promotion of charities close to the heart of the Pope. I am most grateful for your involvement in projects aimed at integral human development, your encouragement of the apostolic activities of dioceses and religious congregations throughout the world, your concern for the education of the Church's future leaders, and your support for the activities of the Holy See".

  The Holy Father recalled that the Papal Foundation "was born as a means of demonstrating practical solidarity with the Successor of Peter in his solicitude for the universal Church".

  "May you see your commitment to the ideals of the Foundation as a privileged expression of your Christian engagement in the Church and before the world. In this way, you will testify that the Church is missionary by her very nature".
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VATICAN CITY, 5 MAY 2011 (VIS) - A message from the Pope to Cardinal William J. Levada, president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and the members of that commission was made public today. The message was issued on the occasion of the commission's annual plenary assembly, which focused on the theme of "Inspiration and Truth of the Bible".

  The Pope emphasized that "this theme is one of the main points of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini, which discusses it in the first section".

  "An interpretation of Sacred Scripture that ignores or forgets its inspiration", the Holy Father writes, "does not take into account its most important and valuable characteristic: its provenance from God".

  Benedict XVI recalled that in that same apostolic exhortation, "'the Synod Fathers stressed the link between the theme of inspiration and that of the truth of the Scriptures. A deeper study of the process of inspiration will doubtless lead to a greater understanding of the truth contained in the sacred books'".

  "Through His Word, God seeks to communicate to us the entire truth about Himself and His plan of salvation for Humanity. The commitment to discovering more and more the truth of the sacred texts thus means seeking to know God and the mystery of His salvific will ever better".

  The Pope continued to call attention to the fact that "it is essential and vital for the life and the mission of the Church that the sacred texts are interpreted according to their nature: Inspiration and Truth are the constitutive aspects of this nature". In this context he assured the members of the commission that their efforts in this area "will have true usefulness for the Church's life and mission".

  "A good hermeneutic", the message concludes, "cannot mechanically apply the criteria of inspiration, or absolute truth, in the extrapolation of a sentence or expression. The level on which it is possible to perceive Sacred Scriptures as the Word of God is that of the unity of God's history, a totality in which single elements are reciprocally illuminated and open themselves to understanding".
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VATICAN CITY, 5 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Tomorrow, Friday 6 May, at 5:00pm in the San Damaso Courtyard of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, thirty-four new recruits will be sworn in as members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard in the presence of members of the Roman Curia, diplomatic representatives, and civil and religious authorities from Switzerland.

  The day will start at 7:30am with Mass for the Swiss Guards, their families and friends celebrated by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone in St. Peter's Basilica. At 9:00am, Daniel Rudolf Anrig, commander of the Swiss Guard, will place a laurel wreath at the monument in the courtyard of the Swiss Guard barracks commemorating the 147 members of the corps who lost their lives protecting Pope Clement VII from the onslaught of the troops of Emperor Charles V during the Sack of Rome on 6 May 1527, the reason for the swearing-in ceremony being celebrated every year on this date. Archbishop Fernando Filoni, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, will then confer military decorations on certain members of the Guard.

  Participating as guest of honor this year, a delegation of the council of the Canton of Fribourg, including its president, Erwin Jutzet, will be present. The Swiss Confederation will  be represented by the Swiss Ambassador to the Holy See, Francois Kammer.
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VATICAN CITY, 5 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy See Press Office issued the following statement regarding the case of the former bishop of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada, Raymond Lahey who has pled guilty to possession of child pornography.

  "The Catholic Church condemns sexual exploitation in all its forms, especially when perpetrated against minors".

  "Although the civil process has run its course, the Holy See will continue to follow the canonical procedures in effect for such cases, which will result in the imposition of the appropriate disciplinary or penal measures".

  Following former Bishop Lahey's admission of guilt, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a declaration assuring that it will "continue to work to prevent such behavior and to bring healing to the victims and their families".

  "Recognizing the confusion and anger that this case has engendered among many of the faithful, we underscore our pastoral concern for those who have experienced great pain as a result of these events.  In a special way our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the Diocese of Antigonish and all the Atlantic region".
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VATICAN CITY, 5 MAY 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

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

  - Archbishop Dominic Jala, S.D.B., of Shillong,

  - Archbishop Dominic Lumon, of Imphal, apostolic administrator of Kohima,

  - Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil S.D.B. of Guwahati, and

  - Archbishop Lucas Sirkar, S.D.B., and Coadjutor Archbishop Thomas D'Souza of Calcutta.

  This afternoon, the Holy Father will receive the president of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, on the occasion of a concert in the Pope's honor marking the sixth anniversary of his pontificate.
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