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Monday, October 3, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 2 OCT 2011 (VIS) - Late yesterday Benedict XVI returned to the Vatican following his summer stay at Castelgandolfo. At midday today he appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

The Pope commented on today's Gospel reading which ends with a particularly severe admonition addressed by Jesus to the chief priests and Pharisees: "The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom".

"These words", Holy Father explained, "make us think of the great responsibility of those who, in all ages, are called to work in the vineyard of the Lord, especially in positions of authority. They encourage us to pledge total faithfulness to Christ. He is 'the stone that the builders rejected' because they judged Him to be an enemy to the law and a danger to public order. But, although rejected and crucified, He rose again, becoming the cornerstone upon which every human life all over the world can rest with absolute confidence. ... Firmly anchored in the faith to the cornerstone that is Christ, let us abide in Him. ... Only in Him, for Him and with Him can we build the Church, the people of the new Covenant".

"The Lord is always near and operates in human history", the Pope said. "He accompanies us with the presence of His angels, whom the Church today venerates as 'Guardian Angels'; in other words, ministers of God's concern for each man and woman. From life's beginning until the hour of death, human life is under their incessant protection. ... The angels crowned ... our Blessed Lady of the Rosary who on the first Sunday of October, at this very moment, in the Shrine of Pompeii and all over the world, receives fervent prayers that evil be defeated and that God's goodness be revealed in all its fullness".

After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father reminded those present that Sr. Antonia Maria Verna, foundress of the Institute of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception, is due to be beatified this afternoon in the Italian town of Ivrea. "She was", he said, "an exemplary model of a consecrated woman and educator".

Finally the Holy Father had words of encouragement for "the volunteer institutions and associations which work to dismantle architectural barriers".
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VATICAN CITY, 1 OCT 2011 (VIS) - The Pope has exhorted European bishops "courageously to identify new missionary paths of evangelisation, especially in serving the new generations". These words are contained in a message signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. and addressed to Cardinal Peter Erdo, president of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE). The council, which is currently celebrating the fortieth anniversary of its foundation, is holding its plenary assembly in Tirana, Albania, from 29 September to 2 October.

Benedict XVI describes the CCEE as "a vital structure connecting the European episcopates, which for forty years has promoted fruitful collaboration in pastoral and ecumenical activities".

The council has chosen to dedicate its assembly this year to the subject of the new evangelisation, also in view of the Synod on that subject called by the Pope for October 2012. In the opening session of the plenary, Cardinal Erdo recalled how the mission of the CCEE "is to support the Church throughout the continent of Europe, focusing particular attention on those Churches which, during the course of last century, suffered greatly under the dictatorship of atheist regimes. ... Today we can confidently affirm that the rebirth of the Church in those countries is proof of Divine Providence and of faith in Christ, Who was crucified and rose again".
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VATICAN CITY, 3 OCT 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

- Seven prelates from the Indonesian Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

- Archbishop Aloysius Sudarso S.C.I. of Palembang.

- Bishop Hilarius Moa Nurak S.V.D. of Pangkal-Pinang.

- Bishop Andreas Henrisusanta S.C.I. of Tanjungkarang.

- Archbishop Hieronymus Herculanus Bumbun O.F.M.Cap. of Pontianak.

- Bishop Blasius Pujaraharja of Ketapang.

- Bishop Giulio Mencuccini C.P. of Sanggau.

- Bishop Agustinus Agus of Sintang.

On Saturday 1 October, he received in separate audiences ten prelates from the Indonesian Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

- Archbishop Johannes Liku Ada' of Makassar.

- Bishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi M.S.C. of Amboina.

- Bishop Joseph Theodorus Suwatan M.S.C. of Manado.

- Archbishop Anicetus Bongsu Antonius Sinaga O.F.M.Cap. of Medan.

- Bishop Ludovikus Simanullang O.F.M.Cap. of Sibolga.

- Archbishop Nicolaus Adi Seputra M.S.C. of Merauke.

- Bishop Aloysius Murwito O.F.M. of Agats.

- Bishop Leo Laba Ladjar O.F.M. of Jayapura.

- Bishop Datus Hilarion Lega of Manokwari-Sorong.

- Bishop John Philip Sakil of Timika.
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