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Monday, February 6, 2012


VATICAN CITY, 4 FEB 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a declaration released at midday today by the Presidency of the Governorate of Vatican City State. The declaration bears the signatures of Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president emeritus of the Governorate; Archbishop Giuseppe Bertello, current president; Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, secretary general, and Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, former vice secretary general.

  (1) The illicit publication of two letters by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the first addressed to the Holy Father on 27 March 2011 and the second to the Cardinal Secretary of State on 8 May, is a cause of great bitterness for the Governorate of Vatican City State.

  The assertions contained in those letters cannot but give rise to the impression that the Governorate of Vatican City State, rather than being an instrument of responsible government, is a body unworthy of trust, at the mercy of obscure powers. Having carefully examined the contents of the two letters, the Presidency of the Governorate feels the duty to declare publicly that the aforesaid assertions are the result of incorrect evaluations, or are based on fears not backed up by evidence, indeed openly contradicted by the principle figures called to witness them.

  Without entering into the merits of the individual assertions, the Presidency of the Governorate feels the need to draw attention to the following proven elements.

  (2) The consolidated budget and financial statements of the Governorate, following approval by the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, are regularly submitted to the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, which examines them in its own offices as well as having them examined by its college of international auditors. Moreover, the Prefecture has at all times the power to examine, without prior warning, the documentation of all offices of the Governorate, in the process of their preparation.

  (3) As is well known, the financial investments of the Governorate, entrusted to external managers, suffered significant losses during the great international crisis of 2008. According to the accounting standards established by the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, which accord with the criteria followed in Italy, those losses were also distributed over the financial year of 2009 which, therefore, showed a loss of euro 7,815,000. However, it must be made clear that, despite the financial loses, the economic and functional administration of the Governorate remained in the black. The move from the negative euro 7,815,000 of the consolidated budget of 2009 to the positive (final) result of euro 21,043,000 for 2010 was mainly due to two factors: the management of the financial investments of the Governorate, which the cardinal president entrusted to the Extraordinary Section of APSA in 2009 and, to an even greater extent, to the excellent results of the Vatican Museums.

  (4) Tenders for works of a certain importance (such as, for example, the ongoing restoration of the Colonnade of St. Peter's Square or the construction of the St. Joseph Fountain) are assigned via standard bidding procedures and after examination by an "ad hoc" commission, instituted on each occasion by the cardinal president. For works of lesser importance, the Directorate of Technical Services uses its own personnel, or well known and well qualified external firms, on the basis of the prices in use in Italy.

  (5) The Presidency of the Governorate of Vatican City State expresses its complete trust in, and respect for, the members of the Finance and Management Committee. It thanks them for having made such an essential contribution, with great professionalism and giving up no small amount of their time, without any expense to the Governorate, and trusts it will be able to continue to draw on their advice in the future.

  The Presidency likewise confirms its complete trust in its administrative offices and collaborators. All suspicions and accusations have, following careful examination, been shown to be unfounded, as have(almost to the point of seeming laughable) news reports - fruit of a certain kind of highly superficial journalism - that telephones were tapped and rooms bugged as part of a merely administrative and disciplinary procedure!

  (6) The presidency is well aware of the fact that the administration of the Governorate, though already well organised and productive, could be further improved in accordance with the recommendations made by the McKinsey management consultancy firm, commission by the cardinal president in 2009 at the suggestion of the Finance and Management Committee. The implementation of the improvements suggested by McKinsey, which began some time ago, will continue in the same spirit. It must be highlighted that the transparency and rigour, so meritoriously pursued by the previous Presidency, is also being practised by the current directors with the same commitment and serenity.

  (7) The entire Governorate - Presidency, directors, bureau chiefs, officials and workers - wishes to reaffirm its firm and joint desire to continue to dedicate all its energies to serving the Supreme Pontiff with complete faithfulness and integrity, aware of the great honour and responsibility it has in being at the service of the Pope.
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VATICAN CITY, 5 FEB 2012 (VIS) - At midday today, Benedict XVI 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 narrates Jesus' healing of St. Peter's mother-in-law and of many other sick people of Capernaum. "The four Evangelists", he said, "all agree that, along with preaching, healing from sickness and infirmity of all kinds constituted the main activity of Jesus during His public life. ... Jesus Christ came to defeat evil at the very root, and the healings were an anticipation of the victory He achieved through death and resurrection.

  "One day Jesus said: 'those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick'", the Holy Father added. "On that occasion He was referring to sinners, whom He had come to call and to save, yet it is nonetheless true that sickness is a typically human condition wherein we experience our lack of self-sufficiency, our need of others. In this context we could say, paradoxically, that sickness can be a 'healthy' moment in which to receive attention from others and to give attention to them! Yet it is still a trial, and can become long and difficult. When healing does not come and suffering continues, we can become crushed and isolated, our lives sink and become dehumanised. How should we react to this attack of evil? Certainly with the appropriate cures - over recent decades medicine has made enormous progress for which we are grateful - but the Word of God teaches us that there is a decisive and basic attitude with which to face sickness: faith in God and in His goodness".

  Pope Benedict went on: "Even in the face of death, faith can make possible what is humanly impossible. But faith in what? In the love of God! This is the true response which radically defeats evil. ... We all know people who have borne terrible suffering because God gave them profound serenity. I think of the recent example of Blessed Chiara Badano, who died in the flower of her youth because of a terrible illness. When people went to visit her, they received light and faith from her! Yet nonetheless, when we are sick we all need human warmth. What sick people need even more than words is serene and sincere proximity".

  The Holy Father concluded by recalling that 11 February, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, also marks the World Day of the Sick. "Let us too act like the people who lived in Jesus' time", he said. "Let us spiritually present all sick people to Him, trusting in His desire and power to heal them. And let us invoke the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, especially upon people undergoing the most extreme forms of suffering and abandonment".

  After praying the Angelus, Benedict XVI recalled that today in Italy marks the Day for Life, "which was established to protect nascent life and later extended to cover all phases and conditions of human existence. The message of bishops this year proposes the theme: 'Young people open to life'. I join the pastors of the Church in Italy in affirming that true youth lies in welcoming and loving others, and in serving life".

  The Pope also reminded French-speaking pilgrims of next Saturday's Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and World Day of the Sick. "Together with all those who are facing sickness, let us ask God to grant us the grace of trusting patience. With the help of Our Lady of Lourdes and of St. Bernadette, may we discover that true happiness exists only in God". Finally, speaking to Polish pilgrims he said: "I ask God that sick people may be attended with care by their relatives, health care workers and all men and women of good will. May human suffering always be surrounded by love".
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VATICAN CITY, 6 FEB 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:

 - Laurence Argimon-Pistre, head of the delegation of the European Union, for the presentation of her Letters of Credence.

 - Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, 6 FEB 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Edward John Weisenburger of the clergy of the archdiocese of Oklahoma, U.S.A., vicar general and rector of the cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, as bishop of Salina (area 69,087, population 342,000, Catholics 48,255, priests 76, permanent deacons 7, religious 167), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Alton, U.S.A. in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1987. Having studied in Belgium and Canada, he worked as a pastor, vicar general and official of the archdiocesan general tribunal of Oklahoma

  On Saturday 4 February it was made public that he appointed Fr. Froilan Tiberio Casas Ortiz of the clergy of the archdiocese of Tunja, Colombia, rector of the major archdiocesan seminary, as bishop of Neiva (area 10,523, population 470,000, Catholics 447,000, priests 82, religious 88), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in Chiquinquira, Colombia in 1948 and ordained a priest in 1972. He has worked as a seminary professor and as pastor in parishes of the archdiocese of Tunja. He succeeds Bishop Ramon Dario Molina Jaramillo O.F.M., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
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