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Monday, June 11, 2012


Vatican City, 11 June 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican the Holy Father received forty members of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. He noted that they were meeting "as the academic year draws to a close and as, for some of you, the day is approaching when you will depart for service in papal representations throughout the world. The Pope also counts on you for assistance in fulfilling his universal ministry", he said.

In his remarks to the group, Benedict XVI underlined the virtue of faithfulness which, he said, "well expresses the unique bond existing between the Pope and his direct collaborators, both in the Roman Curia and in the papal representations: for many, it is a bond grounded in the priestly character that they have received, which is then specified in the particular mission entrusted to each in the service of the Successor of Peter.

"In the Bible, faithfulness is above all a divine attribute", he added. "God reveals Himself as the One Who remains ever faithful to His Covenant with His people, despite their unfaithfulness. ... In our case, the virtue of faithfulness is profoundly linked to the supernatural gift of faith; it becomes the expression of that steadfastness proper to those who have made God the foundation of their entire lives".

"With this in mind, I encourage you to cultivate a personal bond with the Vicar of Christ as a part of your spirituality. Certainly, this is something which ought to apply to every Catholic, and even more to every priest. Yet for those who work in the Holy See, it is of particular importance, since they spend much of their energy, their time and their daily ministry in the service of the Successor of Peter. This entails a serious responsibility, but also a special gift which as time goes on should make you grow in closeness to the Pope, a closeness marked by interior trust, a natural 'idem sentire', which is exactly expressed by the word 'faithfulness'".

The Holy Father went on: "Faithfulness to Peter, who sends you forth, also gives rise to a special faithfulness towards those to whom you are sent. The representatives of the Roman Pontiff and their collaborators are called upon to interpret his solicitude for all the Churches, as well as the affectionate concern with which he follows the journey of all peoples. You should therefore cultivate a relationship of profound esteem and benevolence, and indeed true friendship, towards the Churches and the communities to which you will be sent. You are also bound to faithfulness in their regard, a faithfulness concretely manifested each day by your diligence and devotion to your work, by your presence among them at moments of joy, sadness and even tragedy, by your coming to know their culture, their journey as a Church, and by your appreciation of all that God’s grace has accomplished in every people and nation".

"Thus you will also encourage and help the particular Churches to grow in faithfulness to the Roman Pontiff and to find in the principle of communion with the universal Church a sure direction for their own pilgrimage through history. Not least, you will also help the Successor of Peter to be faithful to the mission he has received from Christ, enabling him to know better the flock entrusted to his care and to be present to it more effectively by his words, his closeness, his affection. Here I can only mention with gratitude the assistance that I receive every day from my many collaborators in the Roman Curia and in papal representations, as well as the support that comes to me from the prayers of countless brothers and sisters worldwide".

Benedict XVI concluded: "Dear friends, to the extent that you are faithful, you will also be worthy of faith. We know too that the faithfulness proper to the Church and to the Holy See is no 'blind' loyalty, for it is enlightened by our faith in the One Who said: 'You are Peter, and on on this rock I will build my Church'".


Vatican City, 11 June 2012 (VIS) - Participants in the fifteenth World Seminar for Catholic Civil Aviation Chaplains and Chaplaincy Members were received this morning in audience by the Holy Father. Their patron, the Pope recalled, is Our Lady of Loreto who is also the patron saint of all air travellers, in accordance with the tradition that attributes to the angels the transportation of Mary’s house from Nazareth to Loreto, Italy.

The seminar is reflecting on new methods and new forms of evangelisation in the field in which the chaplains exercise their ministry, and the Pope encouraged them always to be "conscious that you are called to embody in the world’s airports the Church’s mission of bringing God to man and leading man to the encounter with God.

"Airports", he added, "are places that increasingly reflect the globalised reality of our time. Here one finds people of a wide variety of nationalities, cultures, religions, social status and age. One also comes across all manner of difficult human situations that demand increasing attention. I think, for example, of people waiting anxiously as they seek to pass through border controls without the necessary documentation, either as immigrants or asylum seekers. I think of the inconvenience caused by anti-terrorism security measures. ... This is the human and spiritual environment in which you are called to proclaim the Good News with renewed vigour by your words, by your presence, by your example and by the witness you bear. Be assured that even in chance encounters, people are able to recognise a man of God, and that often a small seed falling on good soil can bring forth abundant fruit".

The Pope went on: "In airports, moreover, you have daily contact with a great many men and women who work in an environment marked by continuous mobility and constant technological development, both of which tend to obscure the centrality of the human person. Often more attention is paid to efficiency and productivity than to the love of neighbour and the solidarity that should always characterise human relations. Here too, your presence is of great value and importance: it is a living witness to a God Who is close to human beings, and it serves as a reminder never to show indifference to those one meets, but to treat them generously and lovingly. I encourage you to be radiant signs of this charity of Christ which brings serenity and peace", the Holy Father concluded.


Vatican City, 10 June 2012 (VIS) - "Today Italy and many other countries are celebrating Corpus Christi, the solemn Feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord ... which every year renews Christians' joy and gratitude at Jesus' Eucharistic presence among us", said the Pope to faithful gathered at midday in St. Peter's Square to pray the Angelus.

This feast "is a great public act of worship of the Eucharist, the Sacrament in which the Lord's presence is extended beyond the time of celebration, to remain among us always, through the hours and the days. St. Justin, who left us one of the most ancient descriptions of Eucharistic liturgy, affirms that, after the distribution of communion to those present, the consecrated bread was taken by deacons to those who were absent. For this reason the most sacred place in churches is where the Eucharist is kept.

"At this point my thoughts cannot but go to the many churches seriously damaged by the recent earthquake in Emilia Romagna", the Holy Father added, "to the fact that in some cases Christ’s Eucharistic Body in the tabernacle has been buried under the rubble. With great affection I pray for the communities forced with their priests to gather for Mass in the open air or in tents. I thank them for their witness and for their efforts in favour of the entire population. This situation highlights the importance of being united in the name of the Lord, the strength that comes from the Eucharistic Bread, also called the 'bread of pilgrims'. Sharing this Bread creates and renews the capacity to share our life and goods, to carry one another’s burdens, to be hospitable and welcoming".

Benedict XVI also noted how the Solemnity of Corpus Christi calls our attention to the importance of Eucharistic adoration. "The prayer of adoration can be performed individually, kneeling before the tabernacle, or as a community with psalms and songs, but always laying the emphasis on silence so as to hear the Lord speaking within us, the Lord Who is alive and present in the Sacrament. The Virgin Mary is our guide also in this prayer, because no one better or more than her was able to contemplate Jesus with the gaze of faith, and to welcome in her heart the intimate echo of His human and divine presence".

Following the Marian prayer the Pope greeted, among others, a group of Polish faithful and the inhabitants of the the Polish cities of Krakow, Lodz, Bydgoszcz and Gdansk who, in the presence of Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., are currently commemorating the apostolic pilgrimage made by John Paul II twenty-five years ago. "One fruit of that visit", the Holy Father said, "is the Feast of the Eucharist being celebrated today in Lodz, where a Study Centre dedicated to Blessed John Paul II is being inaugurated. Tomorrow in Bydgoszcz a meeting will be held to examine the contents of the Encyclical 'Caritas in veritate'. I express my thanks for the Study Centre there dedicated to my own name. May these meetings strengthen your bond with Christ, Who loved us unto the end".


Vatican City, 9 June 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Benedict XVI received in audience prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit. Speaking English, he began by highlighting how the Church provides for the basic needs of the poor, the marginalised and the sick, especially those suffering from HIV/AIDS, through the work of diocesan agencies. He also noted that the bishops exercise an important aspect of their pastoral ministry when they "speak publicly as an objective moral voice on behalf of those in need".

The Holy Father went on: "When the Church voices her concern in the public square, she does so legitimately and in order to contribute to the common good, not proposing concrete political solutions, but rather helping to 'purify and shed light upon the application of reason to the discovery of objective moral principles'. Such principles are accessible to all through right reason and are necessary for the just ordering of civil society. In view of this, I encourage you to continue to dialogue and to work with the civil authorities so that the Church may be free to speak and to provide services for the common good in a manner fully consonant with Gospel values".

In their reports the bishops had spoked of spoken of pastoral efforts aimed at the evangelisation of culture. "This", the Holy Father noted, "is of great importance since the human person can 'achieve true and full humanity only by means of culture'. We also observe the essential role of culture in salvation history, since the Triune God gradually revealed Himself in time, culminating in the sending of His only Son, Who Himself was born into a particular culture".

Moreover, "while acknowledging the respective contribution of each culture and at times calling upon its resources in fulfilling her mission, the Church has been sent to preach the Gospel to all nations, transcending man-made boundaries. In the work of evangelisation then, my brother bishops, continue to apply the eternal truths of the Gospel to the customs of the people whom you serve, in order to build upon the positive elements already present and to purify others when necessary. In this way, you play your part in the Church’s mission to lead people of every nation, race and language to Jesus Christ the Saviour in Whom we find revealed the fullness and truth of humanity".

The family plays a key role in this aspect of evangelisation, since it is "the first place where faith and culture are appropriated. Although society has recognised the important role of the family throughout history, particular attention needs to be given at the present time to the religious, social and moral goods of fidelity, equality and mutual respect that must exist between husband and wife. The Church tirelessly proclaims that the family is based on the natural institution of marriage between a man and a woman and, in the case of baptised Christians, it is a covenant which has been raised by Christ to the supernatural level of a Sacrament". Commending the prelates' efforts to give pastoral priority to the evangelisation of marriage and the family in accordance with Catholic moral teaching, the Pope also recalled Blessed Peter To Rot, the centenary of whose birth is currently being celebrated and "who shed his blood in defence of the sanctity of marriage".

Finally the Holy Father turned his attention to the importance of "a properly catechised laity and well formed clergy and religious" in order that they may "resist the temptations of the secular world" and "be wise enough not to be deceived by attempts to convert them to overly simplistic versions of Christianity that are often based solely on false promises of material prosperity. ... These witnesses and those they teach, with your guidance and support, will help to ensure that the Church in your countries will continue to be an effective instrument of evangelisation, attracting those who do not yet know Christ and inspiring those who have become lukewarm in their faith".


Vatican City, 9 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique yesterday afternoon:

"The Holy See was surprised and concerned to learn of recent developments involving Professor Gotti Tedeschi. It has the greatest confidence that the Italian judicial authorities will honour and respect the sovereign prerogatives which the Holy See is recognised as having under international law.

"Moreover the Holy See confirms its complete confidence in the people who, with great commitment and professionalism, dedicate their labours to the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), and it is carefully examining the possibility that any harm, to its own rights or to those of its institutions, may have arisen from the current circumstances.

"Finally, it must be reiterated that the motion of no confidence passed against Professor Gotti Tedeschi by the Administrative Board of the IOR was founded on objective reasons concerning the governance of the IOR. It was not determined by any purported opposition to the policy of transparency which, in fact, the Holy See authorities and the IOR itself have very much to heart".


Vatican City, 9 June 2012 (VIS) - Made public today was the letter in which the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the millennium of the foundation of the Holy Hermitage of Camaldoli, Italy, due to take place on 19 June.

The names of the priests who will accompany Cardinal Bertello on his mission were also made public. They are: Fr. Giuseppe Cicchi O.S.B. Cam., member of the general council and vice prior of the monastery of Camaldoli, and Fr. Roberto Fornaciari O.S.B. Cam., professor at the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences of Arezzo and secretary of the jubilee celebrations at the Holy Hermitage.


Vatican City, 11 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Miltiadis Hiskakis, ambassador of Greece, on his farewell visit.

On Saturday 9 June he received in audience:

- Ten prelates of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, on their "ad limina" visit

- Archbishop Stephen Joseph Reichert O.F.M. Cap. of Madang.

- Bishop Otto Separy of Aitape.

- Bishop Christian Blouin C.M.M. of Lae.

- Bishop Cesare Bonivento P.I.M.E. of Vanimo.

- Bishop Anthony John Burgess of Wewak.

- Archbishop Douglas Young S.V.D. of Mount Hagen.

- Bishop Francesco Sarego S.V.D. of Goroka.

- Bishop Anton Bal of Kundiawa.

- Bishop Donald Lippert O.F.M. Cap. of Mendi.

- Bishop Arnold Orowae of Wabag.

- Cardinal William Joseph Levada and Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer S.J., respectively prefect and secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.


Vatican City, 11 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Bishop Fabio Duque Jaramillo O.F.M. of Armenia, Colombia, as bishop of Garzon (area 9,667, population 542,000, Catholics 522,000, priests 111, religious 144), Colombia.

- Fr. Constantino Barrera Morales of the clergy of the diocese of San Vicente, El Salvador, rector of the major national seminary "San Jose de la Montana", as bishop of Sonsonate (area 1,225, population 551,000, Catholics 441,000, priests 47, religious 61), El Salvador. The bishop-elect was born in Canton Rojita, El Salvador in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1990. He studied in El Salvador and in Spain, and has worked in pastoral care in parishes and as vicar forane.

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

- Appointed Msgr. Max Leroy Mesidor of the clergy of the diocese of Les Gonaives, Haiti, vicar general and pastor of the cathedral, as bishop of Fort-Liberte (area 1,600, population 480,000, Catholics 345,600, priests 46, religious 78), Haiti. The bishop-elect was born in Saint-Marc, Haiti in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1988. He has served as pastor in a number of different parishes and presides the diocesan commissions for catechises and for the liturgy.

- Appointed Msgr. Juan Antonio Anarez Cobo, vicar general of the archdiocese of Pamplona and Tudela, Spain, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 10,421, population 636,924, Catholics 629,094, priests 674, permanent deacons 2, religious 1,975). The bishop-elect was born in Eibar, Spain in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1990. He studied in Spain and in Rome and, apart from working as pastor in various parishes, is professor of Sacred Scripture at, among other places, the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre.

- Accepted the resignation from the office of librarian and archivist of Holy Roman Church presented by Cardinal Raffaele Farina S.D.B., upon having reached the age limit.

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