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Monday, July 11, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 10 JUL 2011 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI appeared at the balcony overlooking the central courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered there. The Pope is spending the summer months at his residence in Castelgandolfo.

  The Pope focused his remarks on today's Gospel in which Jesus addresses the multitude with the famous parable of the sower. "In some way this is an 'autobiographical' episode", he said, "because it reflects Jesus' own experience as a preacher. He identifies Himself with the sower who, while spreading the good seed of God's Word, becomes aware of the differing effects it produces depending on the way it is accepted. There are those who listen superficially but fail to welcome it; those who accept it immediately but have no constancy and lose everything; those who are overwhelmed by the cares and lures of the world, and those who receive and absorb it like good soil, for them the Word brings forth abundant fruit.

  "Yet this Gospel narrative also highlights the 'method' of Jesus' preaching; in other words, His use of parables", the Holy Father added. "His disciples ask Him: 'why do you speak to them in parables?' Jesus replies by distinguishing between the disciples and the crowds: to the former, who have already chosen to follow Him, He can speak openly of the Kingdom of God, but to others He has to use parables in order to simulate a decision, a conversion of heart. This is because parables, by their nature, require an effort of interpretation, they appeal to our intelligence but also to our freedom. ... In the final analysis the true 'Parable' of God is Jesus Himself ... Who, in human form, both hides and reveals divinity. Thus, God does not force us to believe in Him; rather, He draws us to Him with the truth and goodness of His incarnate Son. Love, in fact, always respects freedom".

  The Holy Father concluded his remarks by recalling that tomorrow is the Feast of St. Benedict, abbot and patron of Europe. "In the light of today's Gospel reading we look to him as a master of profound and persistent attention to the Word of God. We must always learn from the great patriarch of western monasticism to give God the place He deserves, first place, offering Him our daily activities through our morning and evening prayer".
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VATICAN CITY, 10 JUL 2011 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus at midday today from the central courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, the Pope mentioned the fact that today marks the "Day of the Sea", in other words "the day dedicated to the apostolate in the maritime world".

  The Holy Father addressed a special greeting to "chaplains and volunteers who work to being pastoral care to seafarers, fishermen and their families. I also give assurances of my prayers for those seafarers who, alas, find themselves as hostages of pirates", he said. "My hope is that they be treated with respect and humanity, and I pray for their families that they may remain strong in the faith and not lose hope of soon being reunited with their loved ones".

  Turning then to address French-speaking pilgrims including members of the choir from the basilica of Notre-Dame de Lausanne, Switzerland, Benedict XVI invited them "to draw strength from contemplating the splendour of the Creation. Parents, teach your children to observe nature, to respect and protect it as a magnificent gift that makes us aware of the greatness of the Creator. Speaking in parables, Jesus used the language of nature to explain the mysteries of the Kingdom to His disciples. May the images He used become familiar to us all!"
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VATICAN CITY, 11 JUL 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Andre Gazaille, auxiliary of Montreal, Canada, as bishop of Nicolet (area 3,682, population 209,066, Catholics 203,035, priests 122, permanent deacons 25, religious 401), Canada. He succeeds Bishop Raymond Saint-Gelais, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Fr. Christian Lepine of the clergy of the archdiocese of Montreal, Canada, pastor of the parishes of "Notre-Dame-des-Champs" and "Purification-de-la-Bienheureuse-Vierge-Marie", and Fr. Thomas Dowd, also of the clergy of the archdiocese of Montreal, director of the archdiocesan formation service, as auxiliaries of Montreal (area 1,103, population 2,574,000, Catholics 1,640,000, priests 1,063, permanent deacons 100, religious 4,158). Bishop-elect Lepine was born in Montreal in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1983. Bishop-elect Dowd was born in Montreal in 1970 and ordained a priest in 2001.

  On Saturday 9 July it was made public that the Holy Father appointed:

 - Fr. Emmanuel Barbara O.F.M. Cap., minister provincial of the Capuchin Fathers for Malta and president of the European Capuchin Conference, as bishop of Malindi (area 33,254, population 539,000, Catholics 25,509, priests 35, religious 74), Kenya. The bishop-elect was born in Gzira, Malta in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1974.

 - Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Monterrey, Mexico, as his special envoy to the closing celebrations of the Jubilee Year marking the 375th anniversary of the discovery of the image of Our Lady of the Angeles, patron of Costa Rica. The event is due to be held in the Costa Rican city of Cartago on 2 August.
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