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Monday, July 2, 2012


Vatican City, 1 July 2012 (VIS) - The miraculous cures of the daughter of Jairus and of the woman who suffered haemorrhages provided the theme for the Pope's remarks before praying the Angelus today.

Addressing the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI explained that both episodes can be interpreted at two levels: "the purely physical: Jesus tends to human suffering and heals the body; and the spiritual: Jesus came to heal the human heart and to give salvation, and He asks people to have faith in Him". The two episodes again show that Jesus "came to liberate human beings in their entirety", he said. "First is the physical healing, but this is closely tied to a deeper healing, which bestows the grace of God upon those who are open to Him in faith".

All this, the Holy Father went on, invites us "to overcome a purely horizontal and materialistic view of life. We ask God to cure us of our problems, to meet our concrete needs - and it is right that we should do so. Yet we must insistently ask for an ever stronger faith, that the Lord may renew our lives, and a firm trust in His love, in His providence which does not abandon us".

"Jesus' concern for human suffering makes us think of all those who help the sick to carry their crosses, in particular physicians, healthcare professionals and those who provide pastoral care in nursing homes. They are the 'reserves of love' who bring peace and hope to the suffering. In the Encyclical 'Deus Caritas est' I noted that, while such invaluable service requires professional competence as a primary and fundamental requirement, this in itself is not enough". The sick need "need humanity and heartfelt care".

"Let us call upon the Virgin Mary to accompany our journey of faith and our commitment to concrete expressions of love, especially to those in need, as we invoke her maternal intercession for our brothers who live with suffering in body or spirit".

After the Angelus prayer, Benedict XVI expressed the hope that "the holidays may be a time to strengthen our faith through prayer and charity".


Vatican City,  (VIS) - At midday today the Holy Father received the metropolitan archbishops upon whom he yesterday imposed the pallium in the course of a Mass in the Vatican Basilica. The archbishops were accompanied by members of their families.

"The presence of metropolitan archbishops from all over the world is a visible expression of the universality of the Church, called to make Christ known and to announce the Gospel on all the continents and in different languages", said the Pope in his remarks to the group. "I assure you of my constant prayers that you may carry out your episcopal mission with joy and fidelity, building your diocesan communities in charity, supporting them with the witness of faith and helping them to express a rewed enthusiasm at meeting the person of Christ. ... Carry back to your communities the experience of intense spirituality and authentic evangelical unity of these days, that it may touch the hearts of believers and reverberate throughout society, leaving traces of good", the Holy Father concluded.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The Prefecture of the Pontifical Household today announced that on Tuesday 3 July the Holy Father will travel to the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo.

Over the summer months private and special audiences will be suspended, while the Wednesday general audiences - likewise suspended during the month of July - will begin again at Castelgandolfo on Wednesday 1 August. On Sundays and Solemnities during this period, the Pope will pray the Angelus from the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - Made public today was the letter in which the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun S.D.B., bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, China, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the centenary of the birth of Blessed Peter To Rot, catechist and martyr of Papua New Guinea, due to take place in Rabaul on 7 July.

The mission accompanying the cardinal will be made up of Bishop Rochus Josef Tatamai M.S.C. of Bereina, whose recently deceased father was a nephew of the blessed, and Fr, Francis Mell, a priest of the archdiocese of Rabaul and judicial vicar at the archdiocesan tribunal of first instance.


Vatican City, 29 June 2012 (VIS) - At 9 a.m. today, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, Benedict XVI concelebrated the Eucharist in the Vatican Basilica with new metropolitan archbishops, upon whom he imposed the pallium. As is customary, a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople also attended the ceremony. The music for the liturgy was provided by the Choir of the Sistine Chapel, as well as by members of the Choir of Westminster Abbey whom the Pope thanked for their participation.

Following the Gospel reading the Pope pronounced his homily, extracts of which are given below:

"Christian tradition has always considered St. Peter and St. Paul to be inseparable: indeed, together, they represent the whole Gospel of Christ. ... Peter and Paul, much as they differ from one another in human terms and notwithstanding the conflicts that arose in their relationship, illustrate a new way of being brothers, lived according to the Gospel, an authentic way made possible by the grace of Christ’s Gospel working within them. Only by following Jesus does one arrive at this new brotherhood: this is the first and fundamental message that today’s solemnity presents to each one of us, the importance of which is mirrored in the pursuit of full communion, so earnestly desired by the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Bishop of Rome, as indeed by all Christians.

"In the passage from St. Matthew’s Gospel that we have just heard, Peter makes his own confession of faith in Jesus, acknowledging Him as Messiah and Son of God. He does so in the name of the other Apostles too. In reply, the Lord reveals to him the mission that He intends to assign to him, that of being the “rock”, the visible foundation on which the entire spiritual edifice of the Church is built. But in what sense is Peter the rock? How is he to exercise this prerogative, which naturally he did not receive for his own sake? The account given by the Evangelist Matthew tells us first of all that the acknowledgement of Jesus’ identity made by Simon in the name of the Twelve did not come “through flesh and blood”, that is, through his human capacities, but through a particular revelation from God the Father. By contrast, immediately afterwards, as Jesus foretells His passion, death and resurrection, Simon Peter reacts on the basis of “flesh and blood”: he “began to rebuke him, saying, this shall never happen to you”. And Jesus in turn replied: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me”. The disciple who, through God’s gift, was able to become a solid rock, here shows himself for what he is in his human weakness: a stone along the path, a stone on which men can stumble".

"Here we see the tension that exists between the gift that comes from the Lord and human capacities; and in this scene between Jesus and Simon Peter we see anticipated in some sense the drama of the history of the papacy itself, characterised by the joint presence of these two elements: on the one hand, because of the light and the strength that come from on high, the papacy constitutes the foundation of the Church during its pilgrimage through history; on the other hand, across the centuries, human weakness is also evident, which can only be transformed through openness to God’s action.

"And in today’s Gospel there emerges powerfully the clear promise made by Jesus: “the gates of the underworld”, that is, the forces of evil, will not prevail. ... Peter will have to be defended from the “gates of the underworld”, from the destructive power of evil. Jeremiah receives a promise that affects him as a person and his prophetic ministry; Peter receives assurances concerning the future of the Church, the new community founded by Jesus Christ, which extends to all of history, far beyond the personal existence of Peter himself.

"Let us move on now to the symbol of the keys, which we heard about in the Gospel. ... The key represents authority over the house of David. And in the Gospel there is another saying of Jesus addressed to the scribes and the Pharisees, whom the Lord reproaches for shutting off the kingdom of heaven from people. This saying also helps us to understand the promise made to Peter: to him, inasmuch as he is the faithful steward of Christ’s message, it belongs to open the gate of the Kingdom of Heaven, and to judge whether to admit or to refuse. Hence the two images - that of the keys and that of binding and loosing - express similar meanings which reinforce one another. ... The parallelism “on earth ... in the heavens” guarantees that Peter’s decisions in the exercise of this ecclesial function are valid in the eyes of God".

"The authority of loosing and binding consists in the power to remit sins. And this grace, which defuses the powers of chaos and evil, is at the heart of the Church’s mystery and ministry. The Church is not a community of the perfect, but a community of sinners, obliged to recognise their need for God’s love, their need to be purified through the Cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ sayings concerning the authority of Peter and the Apostles make it clear that God’s power is love, the love that shines forth from Calvary".

"The iconographic tradition represents St. Paul with a sword, and we know that this was the instrument with which he was killed. Yet as we read the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles, we discover that the image of the sword refers to his entire mission of evangelisation. ... This was certainly not the battle of a military commander but that of a herald of the Word of God, faithful to Christ and to His Church, to which he gave himself completely. And that is why the Lord gave him the crown of glory and placed him, together with Peter, as a pillar in the spiritual edifice of the Church.

"Dear Metropolitan Archbishops, the pallium that I have conferred on you will always remind you that you have been constituted in and for the great mystery of communion that is the Church, the spiritual edifice built upon Christ as the cornerstone, while in its earthly and historical dimension, it is built on the rock of Peter. Inspired by this conviction, we know that together we are all cooperators of the truth, which as we know is one and “symphonic”, and requires from each of us and from our communities a constant commitment to conversion to the one Lord in the grace of the one Spirit".


Vatican City,  (VIS) - At the end of this morning's Mass concelebrated with forty-three metropolitan archbishops upon whom he imposed the pallium, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square.

"The signs of the lives and glorious deaths of the humble fisherman of Galilee and the Apostle of the Gentiles are inscribed into the very history of Rome, which has rightly chosen them as her protectors", the Pope said. "Treasuring the memory of their shining witness, we recall the venerable beginnings of the Church which in Rome believes, prays and announces Christ the Redeemer. Yet Sts. Peter and Paul blaze not only in the skies of Rome, but also in the hearts of believers all over the world who, illuminated by their teaching and example, walk the paths of faith hope and charity".

Benedict XVI continued: "On this journey of salvation the Christian community, strong and serene in the presence of the living spirit of God, feels impelled to continue along the path of faithfulness to Christ and announcement of His Gospel to men and women of all times. Part of this fruitful spiritual and missionary journey is the consigning of the palliums to metropolitan archbishops, which I performed this morning in the basilica; an eloquent rite which highlights the intimate communion of pastors with Peter's Successor and the profound ties which bind us to apostolic tradition. It is, in fact, a dual treasure of sanctity in which the unity and catholicity of the Church come together: a precious treasure to be rediscovered and experienced with renewed enthusiasm and constant commitment".


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

- Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

- Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, secretary emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.

On Saturday 30 June he received in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller of Regensburg, Germany, as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and as president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and of the International Theological Commission, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. He succeeds Cardinal William Joseph Levada, whose resignation from the same offices the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Removed Archbishop Robert Bezak C.SS.R., from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Trnava, Slovakia.

On Saturday 30 June it was made public that the Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot M.C.C.J., president of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies, as secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.

- Appointed as presidents delegate of the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, due to be held in the Vatican from 7 to 28 October on the theme: "The new evangelisation for the transmission of the Christian faith": Cardinal John Tong Hon, bishop of Hong Kong, China; Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico, and Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Dunkeld, Scotland, presented by Bishop Vincent Paul Logan, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Phu Cuong, Vietnam, presented by Bishop Pierre Tran Dinh Tu, upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Joseph Nguyen Tan Tuoc.

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Quy Nhon, Vietnam, presented by Bishop Pierre Nguyen Soan, upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Matthieu Nguyen Van Khoi.

- Appointed Bishop Marian Rojek, auxiliary of Przemysl of the Latins, Poland, as bishop of Zamosc-Lubaczow (area 8,144, population 486,624, Catholics 472,742, priests 469, religious 168), Poland.

On Friday 29 June it was made public that the Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the territorial prelature of Corocoro, Brazil, presented by Bishop Toribio Ticona Porco, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Claudio Dalla Zuanna S.C.I., vicar general of the Dehonian Fathers, as archbishop of Beira (area 78,018 population 1,490,000, Catholics 828,000, priests 77, religious 134), Mozambique. The archbishop-elect was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1984. He has served in missionary and pastoral work in Mozambique and as counsellor general of his order.

- Appointed Fr. Joseph Alessandro O.F.M. Cap., vicar general of the diocese of Garissa, Kenya, as coadjutor of the same diocese (area 142,704, population 847,500, Catholics 8,500, priests 17, religious 29). The bishop-elect was born in Paola, Malta in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1970. He has worked in education, including as rector of INSERM (Institutum Nationale Studiorum Ecclesiasticorum Religiosorum Melitensium), and has also held various positions of responsibility in his religious congregation.

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