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Friday, April 20, 2012


Vatican City, 20 April 2012 (VIS) - The Pontifical Biblical Commission today concludes its annual plenary session, during which it has been examining the theme: "Inspiration and Truth in the Bible". For the occasion the Holy Father has sent a message to Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and president of the commission.

The Pope notes that the theme of this year's gathering is vital "for a correct interpretation of the biblical message. It is inspiration as an act of God which ensures that human utterance can express the Word of God", he writes. "Indeed, any interpretation of Sacred Scripture which overlooks or forgets its inspiration fails to take account of its most important and precious characteristic; that is, the fact that it comes from God".

"Thanks to the charisma of inspiration", the Benedict XVI goes on, "the books of Sacred Scripture have a direct and tangible appeal. Yet the Word of God is not confined to writing, for although the Revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle, the revealed Word has continued to be announced and interpreted by the living Tradition of the Church. Thus the Word of God, fixed in the holy texts, is not an inert matter at the heart of the Church but the supreme rule of her faith and her life force. The Tradition she draws from the Apostles advances with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, and grows through reflection and study on the part of believers, through the individual experience of spiritual life and the preaching of bishops".

Hence the need for deeper study on the theme of inspiration and truth in the Bible, because it is "fundamental for the life and mission of the Church that Sacred Scripture be interpreted according to its nature; and inspiration and truth are constituent characteristics of that nature".

In conclusion, the Pope expresses his appreciation to the Pontifical Biblical Commission for the activities it undertakes to promote knowledge, study and acceptance of the Word of God in the world.


Vatican City, 20 April 2012 (VIS) - The Vatican internet service released a communique yesterday announcing that, as of 19 April, seventh anniversary of the election of the Holy Father Benedict XVI, the new www.vatican.va widget will be available to users of the Internet.

By using this interface it will be possible, automatically and dynamically, to transfer some of the most important content contained in the institutional website www.vatican.va to another user's website.

Pontifical Magisterium is thus enriched with a another means of communication, making the content of the institutional website more widely known, and using all the opportunities technology offers in order to spread the word of the Holy Father.

In particular, using the new widget it will be possible to export all the principal novelties, the Sunday Angelus, Audiences and the Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office.

The "Focus" area of the homepage www.vatican.va contains the mail address at which users may request the code to insert on the own homepage of their own websites in order to visualise the "vatican.va widget".


Vatican City, 20 April 2012 (VIS) - Among the many people who have contacted the Holy Father Benedict XVI to congratulate him on his birthday, and on the seventh election of his election, was Mario Monti, the Italian prime minister, who made a private visit to the Vatican to see the Pope on Wednesday.

The visit reflects the climate of understanding and collaboration between Italy and the Holy See, which was also on display later that day, during the traditional reception offered by the apostolic nunciature to Italy to mark the anniversary of the papal election. Prime Minister Monti attended and was welcomed by the nuncio, Archbishop Adriano Bernardini. Also present were the ministers of justice, employment, and economic development, as well as other national, regional and local authorities, and ecclesiastical figures. During the event, Prime Minister Monti held a long talk with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also sent the Pope a message of congratulation, in the name of President Barack Obama. The message highlights Benedict XVI's tireless efforts "to unite peoples of different faiths" in the one creed of peace.


Vatican City, 20 April 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:

- Stanislaw Tillich, minister president of the Free State of Saxony, Germany, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.

- Archbishop Giovanni d'Aniello, apostolic nuncio to Brazil.

- Fifteen prelates of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their "ad limina" visit:

- Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez of Los Angeles, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Thomas J. Curry, Gerald E. Wilkerson, Edward William Clark, Alexander Salazar and Oscar Azarcon Solis, and by Cardinal Roger Michael Mahony, archbishop emeritus.

- Bishop Armando Xavier Ochoa of Fresno.

- Bishop Richard John Garcia of Monterey in California.

- Bishop Tod David Brown of Orange in California, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Dominic Mai Luong.

- Bishop Gerald Richard Barnes of San Bernardino, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Rutilio Juan Del Riego.

- Bishop Robert Henry Brom of San Diego, accompanied by Coadjutor Bishop Cirilo B. Flores.

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