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Monday, July 23, 2012


Vatican City,  (VIS) - Benedict XVI invites Christian married couples to be "the sweet and smiling face of the Church" in a message sent to the eleventh international meeting of the "Equipes Notre Dame" Movement, currently being held in Brasilia, Brazil, on the theme: "Daring with the Gospel". The "Equipes Notre Dame" Movement, which promotes conjugal spirituality, was founded in 1939 by the French priest Fr. Henri Caffarel.

In the message, sent through Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., the Pope expresses the view that Christian married couples must be "the best and most convincing messengers of the beauty of a love supported and nourished by the faith, a gift of God which is given to everyone abundantly and generously, so that day after day they can discover the meaning of their lives". The Holy Father also notes that the "Equipes Notre Dame" encourage members to avail themselves of the Sacraments, and to make simple concrete commitments such as the "duty to sit down together"; that is, to dedicate time to interpersonal dialogue between the spouses.

"In our world, which is so deeply marked by individualism, activism, haste and distraction, sincere and constant dialogue between spouses is essential to avoid the emerge, development and degeneration of misunderstandings which, unfortunately, often lead to irreparable breaks which no one can then mend", the message concludes


Vatican City,  (VIS) - "Newspaper articles have been published in recent days in Italy and Germany on the subject of investigations into the leaking of reserved Vatican documents, articles which hint at serious suspicions of complicity on the part of certain persons close to the Holy Father. The Secretariat of State expresses its firm and total disapproval of those publications, which are not based on objective criteria and seriously damage the honour of the people concerned, who have served the Holy Father faithfully for many years".

These words are contained in a note issued this morning by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., who adds: "The fact that the results of the investigations have not yet been made known by the authorities concerned, in no way legitimises the publication of unfounded and false interpretations and theories. It is not this kind of information that the public has the right to know".

At the same time, in a statement transmitted by Vatican Radio, Fr. Lombardi notes that he has "often repeated that being called before a commission in the course of its investigations in no way means that a person is a suspect. It is evident that the three people mentioned in the article [Ingrid Stampa, Cardinal Paolo Sardi and Bishop Joseph Clemens] many have been called to appear, but this says nothing about their being suspected of shared responsibility or 'complicity'".

"As regards their having been 'dismissed' from office, Cardinal Sardi completed his service at the Secretariat of State when he reached the age of seventy-five, and Ingrid Stampa continues to work in the Secretariat of State. As for Bishop Clemens, he has been secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity for a number of years, and it is not true that he received a letter from the Pope such as the one described in the article in 'Die Welt' (a letter to which the Italian newspaper 'La Repubblica' makes only indirect reference)".


Vatican City, 22 July 2012 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus at midday today, Benedict XVI dedicated some remarks to what he described as "a fundamental and ever enthralling theme of the Bible": the fact that "God is the Pastor of humankind".

Addressing faithful gathered in the inner courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo, the Pope explained how this phrase means that "God wants life for us, He wants to guide us to good pastures where we can find nourishment and rest. He does not want us to lose our way and die, but to reach the goal of our journey, which is fullness of life. This is what any mother or father wants for their children: goodness, happiness, fulfilment. In the Gospel Jesus presents Himself as the Pastor of the lost sheep of the House of Israel. His gaze over His people is a 'pastoral' gaze".

"Among the 'lost sheep' whom Jesus saved there was a woman by the name Mary from the village of Magdala on the Sea of Galilee, for which reason she is known as Mary Magdalene. Her feast day falls today. Luke the Evangelist tells us that Jesus freed her from seven demons; in other words, He saved her from utter servitude to the Evil One. And ,in what does this profound healing that God achieves through Jesus consist? It consists in true and complete peace, which is the result of the reconciliation of people in themselves and in all their relations: with God, with others and with the world.

"In fact", the Pope added, "the Evil One always seeks to destroy the work of God by sowing strife in the human heart, between body and soul, between man and God, in interpersonal, social and international relations, even between man and the creation. The Evil One spreads war; God creates peace".


Vatican City, 22 July 2012 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus today, the Holy Father spoke of his profound shock at "the senseless violence which took place in Aurora, Denver", and at "the loss of life in the recent ferry disaster near Zanzibar. I share the distress of the families and friends of the victims and the injured, especially the children. Assuring all of you of my closeness in prayer, I impart my blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in the risen Lord".

The Holy Father then went on to note that in a few days time the thirtieth Olympic Games are due to begin in London, England. "The Olympics", he said, "are the greatest sporting event in the world, in which athletes from many different nations participate, and thus they have great symbolic value. For this reason the Catholic Church looks to the to Olympics with particular sympathy and interest. Let us pray that, according to God’s will, the London Olympics may be a true experience of brotherhood among the peoples of the Earth".


Vatican City, 21 July 2012 (VIS) - Late this afternoon, Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. made the following declaration:

"Judge Piero Antonio Bonnet, Examining Magistrate of the Tribunal of Vatican City State, in the wake of today's interrogation of Paolo Gabriele, has decided it is no longer necessary to keep him in custody. He has therefore granted Mr Gabriele parole, meaning that, having provided the necessary guarantees, he will remain under house arrest.

"Mr Gabriele will, then, reside with his family in his own home inside the Vatican, and will follow the norms laid down by the Judge vis-a-vis his contacts and dealings with others.

"The next stage of the procedure, which is expected within a few days, will be the indictment of the Promoter of Justice regarding Mr Gabriele's responsibility for aggravated theft, and the subsequent decision of the Examining Magistrate to send the accused for trial or acquit him.

"As regards the Commission of Cardinals, it submitted its final report to the Holy Father a few days ago".


Vatican City, 21 July 2012 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today issued the following communique:

"The Holy See, by Decree of the secretary of State acting on a specific pontifical mandate, has decided, in conformity with canonical legislation, to withdraw the right of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru to use the titles of 'Pontifical' and 'Catholic'.

"Since 1967 the University - which was founded in 1917 and canonically erected by Decree of the Holy See in 1942 - has on various occasions unilaterally modified its Statues, seriously prejudicing the interests of the Church.

"Beginning in 1990, the University has been repeatedly requested by the Holy See to bring its Statutes into line with the Apostolic Constitution 'Ex Corde Ecclesiae' (15 August 1990), but has failed to respond to this legal requirement.

"Following the canonical visit of December 2011 and the meeting of the rector with the cardinal secretary of State in February this year, a further attempt at dialogue was made, with a view to adapting the Statutes to Church law.

"Recently, via two letters addressed to the secretary of State, the rector stated that it was impossible to carry out the requirements imposed upon him, and he made the modification of the Statutes conditional on the archdiocese of Lima renouncing its administration of the University's property.

"The participation of the archdiocese of Lima in administering the patrimony of the University has been confirmed on various occasions by the civil courts of Peru.

"In the face of this position taken by the University, which has been confirmed by other initiatives, the Holy See has been obliged to adopt the aforementioned measures. At the same time it reiterates the fact that the University still has a duty to continue to observe canonical legislation.

"The Holy See will carefully follow the evolution of the situation of the University, hoping that in the near future the competent academic authorities may reconsider their position, making it possible to revise the present measures. The renewal requested by the Holy See will make the University better able to respond to its mission of carrying the message of Christ to mankind, society and different cultures, in keeping with the mission of the Church in the world".


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata as vice chamberlain of Holy Roman Church.

On Saturday 21 July it was made public that the Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Vigevano, Italy, presented by Archbishop-Bishop Vincenzo Di Mauro, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed Bishop Edward Janiak, auxiliary of Wroclaw, Poland, as bishop of Kalisz (area 10,800, population 756,400, Catholics 746,400, priests 573, religious 807), Poland. He succeeds Bishop Stanislaw Napierala, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Erected the new eparchy of Notre-Dame du Liban de Paris of the Maronites, based in Paris, France. He appointed Fr, Nasser Gemayel, pastor of the parish of "Sainte Tekla" in Masqua, Lebanon, as first eparchal bishop of the new eparchy and apostolic vicar to Maronite faithful in Western and Northern Europe. The bishop-elect was born in Ain Kharroube, Lebanon in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1981. He studied in Lebanon and France, has been active in pastoral care and education and is the author of several books on the Maronite Church.

 - Appointed Fr. Borys Gudziak, rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University, as apostolic exarch for Ukrainian faithful of Byzantine rite resident in France. The bishop-elect was born in Syracuse, U.S.A. in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1998. He is the author of more than fifty works on the Church, theological formation and various cultural themes. He succeeds Bishop Michel Hrynchyshyn, whose resignation from the same office the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 210 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

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