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Monday, July 30, 2012


Vatican City, 29 July 2012 (VIS) - The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and its association with the Eucharist, and the importance of sharing our possessions, were the central themes of the Pope's remarks before praying the Angelus today with faithful gathered in the internal courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo.

In the narrative of feeding the five thousand as recounted in today's Gospel, "the emphasis on the topic of 'bread' which is shared, and on giving thanks, are references to the Eucharist", the Holy Father explained. The narrative also mentions a boy who, seeing the difficulty in feeding so many people, shared the little he had: five loaves and two fish. Thus "the miracle did not come from nowhere, it came from an ordinary boy's desire to share what he had. Jesus does not ask us what we do not possess, but shows us that if each of us offers the little we have, a miracle can always happen. God is able to multiply every one of our small deeds of love and make us share in His gift".

In this episode "the crowds were struck by wonder. They saw Jesus as a new Moses, worthy of power, and the new manna as a guarantee for the future. But they stopped at the material aspect, at what they ate, while the Lord, realising 'they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, withdrew again to the mountain by himself'. Jesus is not an earthly king who rules, but a king who serves, who bends to man's level to meet not only his material hunger, but his deeper hunger, his hunger for guidance, meaning and truth, his hunger for God".

"Let us ask the Lord to help us rediscover the importance of nourishing ourselves not only with bread, but with truth, love, Christ, the body of Christ. ... At the same time, we wish to pray that no one may lack the bread necessary for a dignified life, and that all inequalities be removed, not through weapons and violence, but through sharing and love".


Vatican City, 29 July 2012 (VIS) - "I am continuing to follow with concern the tragic and increasing violence in Syria, with its depressing sequence of deaths and injuries, also among civilians, and huge numbers of internally displaced persons and refugees in neighbouring States", said the Pope after praying the Angelus. "I therefore ask that the necessary humanitarian assistance and aid be guaranteed. In renewing the expression of my closeness to the suffering people, and my recollection of them in my prayers, I renew my appeal for all violence and bloodshed to end. I ask God to give wisdom of heart, especially to those in positions of greatest responsibility, so that no effort many be spared in the search for peace, also on the part of the international community, through dialogue and reconciliation, with a view to finding an adequate political solution to the conflict.

"My thoughts also go", he added, "to the dear nation of Iraq which has recently suffered numerous serious attacks that have left many dead and injured. May that great country discover the path to stability, reconciliation and peace".

Benedict XVI also turned his attention to the ILVA steelworks in the Italian city of Taranto, which may soon be forced to close due to problems associated with the emission of toxic waste. "I wish to express my closeness to the workers and their families, who are experiencing this difficult time with great apprehension", he said. "While giving assurances of the prayers and support of the Church, I exhort everyone to show a sense of responsibility, and I encourage national and local institutions to make every effort to reach an equitable solution to the issue, one which protects both the right to health and the right to work, especially at this time of economic crisis".


Vatican City,  (VIS) - Following are highlights of the activities of Pope Benedict XVI and of the Holy See for the months of January to April 2012. Another summary, covering the period from May to July, will be published tomorrow.


1: Benedict XVI presides at a Eucharistic celebration for the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, and for the forty-third World Day of Peace which has as its theme this year: "Educating Young People in Justice and Peace".

3: Publication of the Holy Father's Message for the World Day of the Sick, to be held on 11 February, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The message, dated from the Vatican on 20 November 2011, Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ Universal King, is entitled: "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you".

14: The Holy Father receives in audience Mario Monti, prime minister of the Republic of Italy.

19: The Holy Father receives a group of prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Regions 4 and 6), at the end of their "ad limina" visit.

20: The Pontifical Council for the Laity publishes a decree approving the celebrations contained in the Catechetical Directory of the Neo-Catechumenal Way. The decree, dated 8 January, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, bears the signatures of Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko and Bishop Josef Clemens, respectively president and secretary of the council.

24: Presentation of Benedict XVI's Message for the forty-sixth World Day of Social Communications, entitled: "Silence and Word: Path of Evangelisation".

25: The Holy See, acting also in the name and on behalf of Vatican City State, adheres to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (New York, 1999) and to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime (Palermo, 2000). On the same date the Holy See ratifies, likewise in the name and on behalf of Vatican City State, the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Vienna, 1988), which it had already signed in the year in which it was adopted.

31: Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, former archbishop of Philadelphia, U.S.A., dies at the age of 88.


6: The Pope receives Laurence Argimon-Pistre, head of the delegation of the European Union, for the presentation of her Letters of Credence.

7: International symposium entitled "Towards Healing and Renewal" bringing together bishops and religious superiors from all over the world with the aim of relaunching the Church's commitment to protecting minors and vulnerable people from child abuse.

7: Publication of the 2012 Lenten Message of the Holy Father Benedict XVI, the title of which is taken from the Letter to the Hebrews: "Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works".

13: Publication of the Pope's Message for the forth-ninth World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The Day is due to be celebrated on 29 April on the theme: "Vocations, the Gift of the Love of God".

14: Official visit to the Vatican of a delegation of ministers from the United Kingdom to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of full diplomatic relations with the Holy See.

16: The Pope receives Budiarman Barar, the new ambassador of Indonesia to the Holy See, for the presentation of his Letters of Credence.

16: The Pope receives Daniel Edgardo Ramada Piendibene, the new ambassador of Uruguay to the Holy See, for the presentation of his Letters of Credence.

18: Benedict XVI celebrates the fourth ordinary public consistory of his pontificate, during which he creates twenty-two new cardinals.

24: The Holy Father receives in audience His Majesty Siaosi Tupou V, King of Tonga.

29: Inauguration of an exhibition entitled "'Lux in Arcana' - the Vatican Secret Archives unveiled", organised to mark the fourth centenary of the foundation of the Archives.


4: Benedict XVI visits the Roman parish of "San Giovanni Battista de La Salle al Torrino".

9: Cardinal Jose T. Sanchez, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy, dies at the age of 91.

9: The Holy Father receives a group of prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, at the end of their "ad limina" visit.

10: The Holy Father presides at Vespers in the Roman monastery of San Gregorio al Celio, to mark the visit to Rome of His Grace Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury and primate of the Anglican Communion.

14: Presentation, in the German embassy to the Holy See, of a work by Joseph Ratzinger: "The People and the House of God in Augustine's Doctrine of the Church". The book, the Pope's doctoral thesis from 1953, is part of a series of sixteen volumes which aims to bring together all Joseph Ratzinger's theological works up to the time of his election to the papal throne in 2005.

16: The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith opens a new domain within the official website of the Holy See, to facilitate the consultation of its documents which, having the express approbation of the Holy Father, participate in his ordinary Magisterium as Peter's Successor.

23-28: The Holy Father makes an apostolic trip to Mexico and Cuba.


7: His Beatitude Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Oriental Churches and patriarch emeritus of Antioch of the Syrians, dies in Rome at the age of 82.

10: Cardinal Luis Aponte Martinez, archbishop emeritus of San Juan de Puerto Rico, dies at the age of 89.

14: Benedict XVI sends a message to Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier, Germany, for the fifth centenary of the first public display of the "Heiliger Rock", said to be the Holy Robe which Jesus wore before His crucifixion.

19: On this seventh anniversary of the election of the Holy Father Benedict XVI, the new www.vatican.va widget becomes available to users of the Internet.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted:

- The resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, presented by Bishop Paul Friedrich Wehrle, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- The resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Magangue, Colombia, presented by Bishop Jorge Leonardo Gomez Serna O.P., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

On Saturday 28 July it was made public that the Holy Father appointed:

- Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the 950th anniversary of the diocese of Sape, Albania, due to take place on 29 September.

- Fr. Edoardo Aldo Cerrato C.O., procurator general of the Congregation of the Oratory and superior of the Oratorian House in Rome, as bishop of Ivrea (area 1,850, population 213,200, Catholics 208,000, priests 139, permanent deacons 17, religious 242), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Turin, Italy in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1975. Among other things he has worked in pastoral ministry, as preacher during spiritual exercises and retreats for lay people and religious, and as a professor in various institutions.

- As members of the Congregation for Bishops: Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, vice chamberlain of Holy Roman Church, and Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care.

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