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Monday, December 3, 2012


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The Holy Father today gave an address to the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace.

"Man is nowadays considered in predominantly biological terms or as 'human capital', a 'resource', part of a dominant productive or financial mechanism. Although we continue to proclaim the dignity of the person, new ideologies - the hedonistic and egotistic claim to sexual and reproductive rights, or unregulated financial capitalism that abuses politics and derails the true economy - contribute to a concept of the worker and his or her labour as 'minor' commodities and undermine the natural foundations of society, especially the family. In fact, the human being, .... transcendent by comparison to other beings or earthly goods, enjoys true supremacy and responsibility for himself and for creation. ... For Christianity, work is fundamental for man, for his identity, socialisation, the creation of a family and his contribution to peace and the common good. For precisely this reason, the aim of access to work for all is always a priority, even in periods of economic recession.

"From new evangelisation of the social sphere, we can derive a new humanism and renewed cultural and prospective commitment", the Pope continued. The new evangelisation "helps to dethrone modern idols, replacing individualism, materialistic consumerism and technocracy with a culture of fraternity and gratuity, and with mutual love. Jesus Christ summarised these precepts and gave them the form of a new commandment - 'Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another' - and here lies the secret of every fully human and pacific social life, as well as the renewal of politics and of national and global institutions. Blessed John XXIII motivated efforts to build a world community, with a corresponding authority precisely on love for the common good of the human family".

"The Church certainly does not have the task of suggesting, from a judicial or political point of view, the precise configuration of an international system of this type, but rather offers   a set of principles for reflection, criteria for judgement and practical guidelines able to guarantee an anthropological and ethical structure for the common good. However, it is important to note that one should not envisage a superpower, concentrated in the hands of the few, dominating all peoples and exploiting the weakest among them, but rather that such an authority should be understood primarily as a moral force, a power to influence according to reason, or rather as a participatory authority, limited in competence and by law", concluded the Holy Father.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI addressed members of the Venerable English College of Rome, the Catholic seminary for the formation of priests from England and Wales. The College, which celebrates its 650th anniversary this year, has its origins in an ancient English hospice which accommodated British pilgrims to Rome.

The Holy Father, following his greeting to Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, a former rector of the College, emphasised the "long tradition of zeal for the faith and loyalty to the Apostolic See" in the Catholic community in England and Wales. He remarked that it was his predecessor, Pope Gregory the Great, who sent St. Augustine of Canterbury to "plant the seeds of Christian faith on Anglo-Saxon soil. The fruits of that missionary endeavour are only too evident in the six-hundred-and-fifty-year history of faith and martyrdom that distinguishes the English Hospice of Saint Thomas à Becket and the Venerable English College that grew out of it".

Addressing the seminarians, he continued, "you too ... are the men God has chosen to spread the message of the Gospel today, in England and Wales, in Canada, in Scandinavia ... Your first task, then, is to come to know Christ yourselves, and the time you spend in seminary provides you with a privileged opportunity to do so. Learn to pray daily, especially in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, listening attentively to the word of God and allowing heart to speak to heart, as Blessed John Henry Newman would say.  ... Allow the fascination of His person to capture your imagination and warm your heart. He has chosen you to be His friends, not His servants, and He invites you to share in His priestly work of bringing about the salvation of the world".

"You have heard much talk about the new evangelization, the proclamation of Christ in those parts of the world where the Gospel has already been preached, but where to a greater or lesser degree the embers of faith have grown cold and now need to be fanned once more into a flame. ... Fire in sacred Scripture frequently serves to indicate the divine presence. ... Just as a small fire can set a whole forest ablaze, so the faithful testimony of a few can release the purifying and transforming power of God’s love so that it spreads like wildfire throughout a community or a nation".

Benedict XVI concluded by mentioning his visit to the United Kingdom in 2010. He said, "I saw for myself that there is a great spiritual hunger among the people. Bring them the true nourishment that comes from knowing, loving and serving Christ. Speak the truth of the Gospel to them with love. Offer them the living water of the Christian faith and point them towards the bread of life, so that their hunger and thirst may be satisfied. Above all, however, let the light of Christ shine through you by living lives of holiness, following in the footsteps of the many great saints of England and Wales, the holy men and women who bore witness to God’s love, even at the cost of their lives".


Vatican City,  (VIS) - A press conference was held this morning in the Holy See Press Office to explain the presence of the Pope on Twitter and to provide additional information on the use of the new media in the Vatican.

The conference was presented by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the same dicastery, Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, Vatican Radio and the Vatican Television Centre, Professor Gian Maria Vian, editor of 'L'Osservatore Romano' and Greg Burke, media advisor to the Secretariat of State. Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Twitter's director of Social Innovation, was also present.

Given below are extracts from the English-language Note explaining the presence of the Holy Father on Twitter:

"The Pope's presence on Twitter is a concrete expression of his conviction that the Church must be present in the digital arena. ... The Pope's presence on Twitter can be seen as the 'tip of the iceberg' that is the Church's presence in the world of new media. The Church is already richly present in this environment – there exist a whole range of initiatives from the official websites of various institutions and communities to the personal sites, blogs and micro-blogs of public church figures and of individual believers. The Pope's presence on Twitter is ultimately an endorsement of the efforts of these 'early adapters' to ensure that the Good News of Jesus Christ and the teaching of his Church is permeating the forum of exchange and dialogue that is being created by social media. His presence is intended to be an encouragement to all Church institutions and people of faith to be attentive to develop an appropriate profile for themselves and their convictions in the 'digital continent'.  The Pope's tweets will be available to believers and non-believers to share, discuss and to encourage dialogue. It is hoped that the Pope's short messages, and the fuller messages that they seek to encapsulate, will give rise to questions for people from different countries, languages and cultures". 

"Part of the challenge for the Church in the area of new media is to establish a networked or capillary presence that can effectively engage the debates, discussions and dialogues that are facilitated by social media and that invite direct, personal and timely responses of a type that are not so easily achieved by centralized institutions. Moreover, such a networked or capillary structure reflects the truth of the Church as a community of communities which is alive both universally and locally. The Pope's presence on Twitter will represent his voice as a voice of unity and leadership for the Church but it will also be a powerful invitation to all believers to express their 'voices', to engage their 'followers' and 'friends' and to share with them the hope of the Gospel that speaks of God’s unconditional love for all men and women".  

"In addition to the direct engagement with the questions, debates and discussions of people that is facilitated by new media, the Church recognizes the importance of new media as an environment that allows to teach the truth that the Lord has passed to His Church, to listen to others, to learn about their cares and concerns, to understand who they are and for what they are searching. ... It is for this reason that it has been decided to launch the Pope's Twitter channel with a formal question and answer format. This launch is also an indication of the importance that the Church gives to listening and is a warranty of its ongoing attentiveness to the conversations, commentaries and trends that express so spontaneously and insistently the preoccupations and hopes of people".

The first tweets from the Pope's handle on Twitter will be given on 12 December, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Initially tweets will be published with the Wednesday general audiences, although they may subsequently become more frequent. The first tweets, on 12 December, will respond to questions put to the Pope on matters of faith. The public can send questions between now and 12 December in the languages listed below. The official Papal handle is @pontifex.

In addition to English, tweets will also be published in the following languages:

Spanish @pontifex_es
Italian @pontifex_it
Portuguese @pontifex_pt
German @pontifex_de
Polish @pontifex_pl
Arabic @pontifex_ar
French @pontifex_fr

Other languages may be added in the future. Further information can be obtained at http://blog.twitter.com/ 


Vatican City,  (VIS) - "The word 'advent' means 'coming' or 'presence', said the Pope to the faithful gathered yesterday in St. Peter's Square to pray the Angelus, as the Church began a new liturgical year. "In the ancient world it indicated the visit of the king or emperor to a province; in the language of Christianity it refers to the coming of God, to his presence in the world; a mystery that involves the entire cosmos and all of history, and with two culminating moments: the first and the second coming of Jesus Christ".

Benedict XVI explained that these two culminating moments are first the Incarnation, and then the glorious return of Christ at the end of time. "These two moments, chronologically distant – and it is not given to us to know how far apart they are – touch us deeply, because by His death and resurrection Jesus has already accomplished that transformation of humanity and of the cosmos that is the final goal of creation. But before that end, it is necessary that the Gospel be proclaimed to all nations, as Jesus says in the Gospel of Saint Mark. The coming of Christ is continuous; the world must be infused by His presence. This permanent coming of the Lord in the proclamation of the Gospel requires our continual collaboration; and the Church ... in communion with her Lord, collaborates in this coming of the Lord, in which His glorious return has already begun".

The Word of God traces "a line of conduct to pursue in order to be ready for the coming of the Lord. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus says to the disciples, 'Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life ... Be vigilant at all times and pray', inviting them to simplicity and prayer. The apostle Paul encourages them to 'increase and abound in love' among themselves and towards others. ... In the midst of the turmoil of the world, or the desert of indifference and materialism, Christians accept the salvation of God and bear witness to it by following a different way of life. ... The community of believers is a sign of the love of God, of His justice that is already present and working in history, but not yet fully realised, and that therefore should always be awaited, invoked, and sought after with patience and courage".

Following the Angelus, the Pope mentioned that today in Kottar, India, the layperson and martyr Devasahayam Pillai, who lived in the eighteenth century, was beatified. "We unite ourselves to the joy of the Church in India and pray that the new Blessed may sustain the faith of Christians in that great and noble country".

"Tomorrow", he added, "we celebrate the International Day for Persons with Disabilities. Each individual, with his or her physical or psychological limits, including those of a  serious nature, is always of inestimable value and must be considered as such. I encourage ecclesial communities to take care to welcome these brothers and sisters of ours, and urge legislators and governors to protect those with disabilities and to promote their full participation in the life of our society as a whole".


Vatican City,  (VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica at 5.30 p.m. today, Benedict XVI presided at first Vespers for the First Sunday of Advent with academics from the Roman and pontifical universities on the occasion of the beginning of the academic year.

In his homily, the Holy Father remarked that "the entire journey of the year of the Church is directed to discovering and reliving God's trust in Jesus Christ who came to us in Bethlehem, as a child. The full history of salvation is a journey of love, mercy and benevolence, from creation to the liberation of the people of Israel from the slavery of Egypt, from the giving of the Law at Sinai to the return to the homeland from Babylonian slavery. ... God is not closed away in heaven, but rather inclines towards the affairs of mankind, a great mystery that exceeds any possible expectation. ... He does all this out of his unwavering love for humanity. ... 'God is love'. ...  God, in Jesus of Nazareth, takes upon himself the whole of humanity, the entire history of humanity, setting it on a decisive new course to transformation into a new human being, engendered by and tending towards God".

"The liturgical year that we begin with these Vespers will also form part of the path in which you once more relive the mystery of this trust in God, upon whom you are called to base your life, as on a solid rock", said the Pope, addressing the students present. "By celebrating and undertaking this itinerary of faith with the Church, you will experience that Jesus Christ is the sole Lord of the cosmos and of history, without Whom any human construction would amount to nothing. The liturgy, lived in its true spirit, is always the fundamental school for life in Christian faith, a 'theological' faith involving your whole being - body, heart and soul - to enable you to become living stones in the construction of the Church and collaborators in new evangelisation".

He continued, "We live in a context  in which we often encounter indifference towards God. But I believe that, in the inner depths of those people ... whose lives are distant from God, there resides a nostalgia for the infinite, for transcendence. It is your task, within the university halls, to bear witness to God Who is close to us, and Who is made manifest also in the search for the truth, which is the soul of any intellectual pursuit. ... Faith is the door that God opens in our lives in order to lead us to the encounter with Christ, in which the present day of humanity meets that of God. Christian faith is not the adhesion to a generic or undefined god, but rather to the living God Who in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, entered into human history and revealed Himself as man's Redeemer. To believe means to entrust one's own life to Him, as only He can give it fullness in time and open it to hope beyond time".

"In this Year of Faith I wish to invite the academic community of Rome to reflect upon faith. The continuing dialogue between the state or private and pontifical universities allows us to hope for an increasingly significant presence of the Church in the cultural life not only of Rome but also in Italian and international contexts".

The Pope concluded by remarking that that the next World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro will provide "an important opportunity for offering your testimony and commitment to the moral and social renewal of the world". 

At the end of the ceremony a delegation from the University of Rome "Roma 3" presented an icon of Mary "Sedes Sapientiae" ("Seat of Wisdom") to a university delegation from Brazil, the country which will host the next World Youth Day.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - At midday today in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, Benedict XVI received the participants in the pilgrimage of the "World of Itinerant Performers", promoted on the occasion of the Year of Faith by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, in collaboration with the diocese of Rome and the "Migrantes" foundation of the Italian Episcopal Conference. Thousands of circus performers, fairground workers, puppeteers, acrobats, street performers, musical band members, mechanical musicians, folk groups and pavement artists were present.

"Your great family is distinguished above all by your ability to use the particular and specific language of your art", which, the Pope said, "constitutes an immediate form of communication for entering into dialogue with children and adults, kindling feelings of serenity, joy and harmony".

"With these characteristics and style, you show the values that form a part of your tradition: love for the family, care for the young, attention to the disabled, care for the sick, and respect for the elderly and their experience. In your environment, dialogue between generations, a sense of friendship, and the pleasure of working as a team all flourish. You excel in hospitality and the welcome you extend to others, along with your attention to responding to the most authentic wishes, especially those of the young generations. Your crafts require sacrifices, responsibility and perseverance, courage and generosity; virtues today's society does not always appreciate, but which have contributed to shaping entire generations within your great family".

The Pope continued, "I am also aware of the many problems you face due to your itinerant condition, such as the education of your children, the search for appropriate locations for performances, obtaining authorisation for shows and stay permits for foreigners. I hope that the local authorities will make efforts to protect you as a group, recognising the social and cultural value of travelling shows, and encourage both you and the rest of civil society to overcome prejudice, aspiring to a good level of integration in local contexts".

"The Church takes pleasure in the commitment you show and appreciates your loyalty to the traditions you are justly proud of. Like you, the Church is a pilgrim in the world, and invites you to participate in her divine mission through your daily work. ... Although the itinerant life can prevent you from stable participation in a parish community and does not facilitate regular participation in catechesis and divine worship, new evangelisation is necessary even in your world. I hope that you are able to find welcoming and accommodating people, able to help meet your spiritual needs, in the communities within which you temporarily stay. However, do not forget that the family is the first route by which faith is transmitted; it is the little domestic Church entrusted with the role of introducing Jesus and His Gospel, and educating in accordance with God's law, so that everyone might reach full human and Christian maturity".

"Assuring you of the closeness of the Church, who shares your path, I entrust you all to the Virgin Mary, the star of your journey, whose maternal presence will accompany you in every moment of your life", concluded Benedict XVI.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - Given below is Benedict XVI's Apostolic Letter issued "motu proprio" on "The Service of Charity", dated 11 November 2012.

"'The Church's deepest nature is expressed in her three-fold responsibility: of proclaiming the word of God (kerygma-martyria), celebrating the sacraments (leitourgia) and exercising the ministry of charity (diakonia). These duties presuppose each other and are inseparable'.

"The service of charity is also a constitutive element of the Church's mission and an indispensable expression of her very being; all the faithful have the right and duty to devote themselves personally to living the new commandment that Christ left us, and to offering our contemporaries not only material assistance, but also refreshment and care for their souls. The Church is also called as a whole to the exercise of the diakonia of charity, whether in the small communities of particular Churches or on the level of the universal Church. This requires organization 'if it is to be an ordered service to the community', an organization which entails a variety of institutional expressions.

"With regard to this diakonia of charity, in my Encyclical Deus Caritas Est I pointed out that 'in conformity with the episcopal structure of the Church, the Bishops, as successors of the Apostles, are charged with primary responsibility for carrying out in the particular Churches' the service of charity; at the same time, however, I noted that 'the Code of Canon Law, in the canons on the ministry of the Bishop, does not expressly mention charity as a specific sector of episcopal activity'. Although 'the Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops explored more specifically the duty of charity as a responsibility incumbent upon the whole Church and upon each Bishop in his Diocese', there was still a need to fill the aforementioned lacuna and to give adequate expression in canonical legislation to both the essential nature of the service of charity in the Church and its constitutive relationship with the episcopal ministry, while outlining the legal aspects of this ecclesial service, especially when carried out in an organised way and with the explicit support of the Bishops.

"In view of this, with the present Motu Proprio I intend to provide an organic legislative framework for the better overall ordering of the various organized ecclesial forms of the service of charity, which are closely related to the diaconal nature of the Church and the episcopal ministry.

"It is important, however, to keep in mind that 'practical activity will always be insufficient, unless it visibly expresses a love for man, a love nourished by an encounter with Christ'. In carrying out their charitable activity, therefore, the various Catholic organisations should not limit themselves merely to collecting and distributing funds, but should show special concern for individuals in need and exercise a valuable educational function within the Christian community, helping people to appreciate the importance of sharing, respect and love in the spirit of the Gospel of Christ. The Church's charitable activity at all levels must avoid the risk of becoming just another form of organised social assistance.

"The organised charitable initiatives promoted by the faithful in various places differ widely one from the other, and call for appropriate management. In a particular way, the work of Caritas has expanded at the parish, diocesan, national and international levels. Caritas is an institution promoted by the ecclesiastical Hierarchy which has rightly earned the esteem and trust of the faithful and of many other people around the world for its generous and consistent witness of faith and its concrete ability to respond to the needs of the poor.  In addition to this broad initiative, officially supported by the Church's authority, many other initiatives have arisen in different places from the free enterprise of the faithful, who themselves wish to help in various ways to offer a concrete witness of charity towards those in need. While differing in their origin and juridical status, both are expressions of sensitivity and a desire to respond to the same pressing need.

"The Church as an institution is not extraneous to those organised initiatives which represent a free expression of the concern of the baptised for individuals and peoples in need. The Church's Pastors should always welcome these initiatives as a sign of the sharing of all the faithful in the mission of the Church; they should respect the specific characteristics and administrative autonomy which these initiatives enjoy, in accordance with their nature, as a manifestation of the freedom of the baptised.

"Alongside these, the Church's authority has, on its own initiative, promoted specific agencies which provide institutionally for allocating donations made by the faithful, following suitable legal and administrative methods which allow for a more effective response to concrete needs.

"Nevertheless, to the extent that such activities are promoted by the Hierarchy itself, or are explicitly supported by the authority of the Church's Pastors, there is a need to ensure that they are managed in conformity with the demands of the Church’s teaching and the intentions of the faithful, and that they likewise respect the legitimate norms laid down by civil authorities. In view of these requirements, it became necessary to establish in the Church’s law certain essential norms inspired by the general criteria of canonical discipline, which would make explicit in this sector of activity the legal responsibilities assumed by the various subjects involved, specifying in particular the position of authority and coordination belonging to the diocesan Bishop. At the same time, the norms in question need to be broad enough to embrace the significant diversity of the institutions of Catholic inspiration which are engaged as such in this sector, whether those originating from the Hierarchy or those born of the direct initiative of the faithful, received and encouraged by the local Pastors. While it was necessary to lay down norms in this regard, there was also a need to consider the requirements of justice and the responsibility of Bishops before the faithful, with respect for the legitimate autonomy of each institution.

Dispositive Part

"Consequently, upon the proposal of the Cardinal President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, and after consultation with the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, I establish and decree the following:

"Art. 1. - § 1. The faithful have the right to join in associations and to establish agencies to carry out specific charitable services, especially on behalf of the poor and suffering.  To the extent that these are linked to the charitable service of the Church's Pastors and/or intend to use for this purpose contributions made by the faithful, they must submit their own Statutes for the approval of the competent ecclesiastical authority and comply with the following norms.
§ 2. Similarly, it is also the right of the faithful to establish foundations to fund concrete charitable initiatives, in accordance with the norms of canons 1303 of the Code of Canon Law (CIC) and 1047 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO).  If foundations of this type correspond to the characteristics set forth in § 1, they will also observe, congrua congruis referendo, the provisions of the present law.
§ 3. In addition to observing the canonical legislation, the collective charitable initiatives to which this Motu Proprio refers are required to follow Catholic principles in their activity and they may not accept commitments which could in any way affect the observance of those principles.
§ 4. Agencies and foundations for charitable purposes promoted by Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life are required to comply with these norms, and they must follow the prescriptions of canons 312 § 2 CIC and 575 § 2 CCEO.

"Art. 2. - § 1. The Statutes of each charitable agency referred to in the preceding article must also contain, in addition to its institutional offices and structures of governance in accordance with canon 95 § 1 CIC, the guiding principles and objectives of the initiative, the management of funds, the profile of its workers, as well as the reports and information which must be presented to the competent ecclesiastical authority.
§ 2. A charitable agency may use the name 'Catholic' only with the written consent of the competent authority, as laid down by canon 300 CIC.
§ 3. Agencies promoted by the faithful for charitable purposes can have an Ecclesiastical Assistant appointed in accordance with the Statutes, according to the norm of canons 324 § 2 and 317 CIC.
§ 4. At the same time, the ecclesiastical authority must bear in mind its duty to regulate the exercise of the rights of the faithful in accordance with canons 223 § 2 CIC and 26 § 3 CCEO, and thus to avoid the proliferation of charitable initiatives to the detriment of their activity and effectiveness with regard to their stated goals.

"Art. 3. - § 1. With regard to the preceding articles, it is understood that the competent authority at the respective levels is that indicated by canons 312 CIC and 575 CCEO.
§ 2. For agencies not approved at the national level, even though they operate in different Dioceses, the competent authority is understood to be the diocesan Bishop of the place where the agency has its principal office. In any event, the agency has the duty to inform the Bishops of other Dioceses where it operates and to respect the guidelines for the activities of the various charitable agencies present in those Dioceses.

"Art. 4. § 1. The diocesan Bishop exercises his proper pastoral solicitude for the service of charity in the particular Church entrusted to him as its Pastor, guide and the one primarily responsible for that service.
§ 2. The diocesan Bishop encourages and supports the initiatives and works of service to neighbour in his particular Church, and encourages in the faithful the spirit of practical charity as an expression of the Christian life and sharing in the mission of the Church, as indicated in canons 215 and 222 CIC and 25 and 18 CCEO.
§ 3. It is the responsibility of the diocesan Bishop to ensure that in the activities and management of these agencies the norms of the Church's universal and particular law are respected, as well as the intentions of the faithful who made donations or bequests for these specific purposes.

"Art. 5. - The diocesan Bishop is to ensure that the Church enjoys the right to carry out charitable activities, and he is to take care that the faithful and the institutions under his supervision comply with the legitimate civil legislation in this area.

"Art. 6. – It is the responsibility of the diocesan Bishop, as indicated by canons 394 § 1 CIC and 203 § 1 CCEO, to coordinate within his territory the different works of charitable service, both those promoted by the Hierarchy itself and those arising from initiatives of the faithful, without prejudice to their proper autonomy in accordance with their respective Statutes. In particular, he is to take care that their activities keep alive the spirit of the Gospel.

"Art. 7. - § 1. The agencies referred to in Article 1 § 1 are required to select their personnel from among persons who share, or at least respect, the Catholic identity of these works.
§ 2. To ensure an evangelical witness in the service of charity, the diocesan Bishop is to take care that those who work in the Church's charitable apostolate, along with due professional competence, give an example of Christian life and witness to a formation of heart which testifies to a faith working through charity. To this end, he is also to provide for their theological and pastoral formation, through specific curricula agreed upon by the officers of various agencies and through suitable aids to the spiritual life.

"Art. 8. – Wherever necessary, due to the number and variety of initiatives, the diocesan Bishop is to establish in the Church entrusted to his care an Office to direct and coordinate the service of charity in his name.

"Art. 9. - § 1. The Bishop is to encourage in every parish of his territory the creation of a local Caritas service or a similar body, which will also promote in the whole community educational activities aimed at fostering a spirit of sharing and authentic charity. When appropriate, this service is to be established jointly by various parishes in the same territory.
§ 2. It is the responsibility of the Bishop and the respective parish priest to ensure that together with Caritas, other charitable initiatives can coexist and develop within the parish under the general coordination of the parish priest, taking into account, however, the prescriptions of Article 2 § 4 above.
§ 3. It is the duty of the diocesan Bishop and the respective parish priests to see that in this area the faithful are not led into error or misunderstanding; hence they are to prevent publicity being given through parish or diocesan structures to initiatives which, while presenting themselves as charitable, propose choices or methods at odds with the Church's teaching.

"Art. 10. - § 1. It is the responsibility of the Bishop to supervise the ecclesiastical goods of the charitable agencies subject to his authority.
§ 2. It is the duty of the diocesan Bishop to ensure that the proceeds of collections made in accordance with canons 1265 and 1266 CIC and canons 1014 and 1015 CCEO are used for their stated purposes.
§ 3. In particular, the diocesan Bishop is to ensure that charitable agencies dependent upon him do not receive financial support from groups or institutions that pursue ends contrary to Church's teaching. Similarly, lest scandal be given to the faithful, the diocesan Bishop is to ensure that these charitable agencies do not accept contributions for initiatives whose ends, or the means used to pursue them, are not in conformity with the Church's teaching.
§ 4. In a particular way, the Bishop is to see that the management of initiatives dependent on him offers a testimony of Christian simplicity of life.  To this end, he will ensure that salaries and operational expenses, while respecting the demands of justice and a necessary level of professionalism, are in due proportion to analogous expenses of his diocesan Curia.
§ 5. To permit the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Article 3 § 1 to exercise its duty of supervision, the agencies mentioned in Article 1 § 1, are required to submit to the competent Ordinary an annual financial report in a way which he himself will indicate.

"Art. 11. – The diocesan Bishop is obliged, if necessary, to make known to the faithful the fact that the activity of a particular charitable agency is no longer being carried out in conformity with the Church’s teaching, and then to prohibit that agency from using the name 'Catholic' and to take the necessary measures should personal responsibilities emerge.

"Art. 12. - § 1. The diocesan Bishop is to encourage the national and international activity of the charitable agencies under his care, especially cooperation with poorer ecclesiastical circumscriptions by analogy with the prescriptions of canons 1274 § 3 CIC and 1021 § 3 CCEO.
§ 2. Pastoral concern for charitable works, depending on circumstances of time and place, can be carried out jointly by various neighbouring Bishops with regard to a number of Churches, in accordance with the norm of law. When such joint activity is international in character, the competent Dicastery of the Holy See is to be consulted in advance. For charitable initiatives on the national level, it is fitting that the Bishop consult the respective office of the Bishops’ Conference.

"Art. 13. – The local ecclesiastical authority retains the full right to give permission for initiatives undertaken by Catholic agencies in areas of his jurisdiction, with due respect for canonical norms and the specific identity of the individual agencies. It is also the duty of the Bishop to ensure that the activities carried out in his Diocese are conducted in conformity with ecclesiastical discipline, either prohibiting them or adopting any measures needed in cases where that discipline is not respected.

"Art. 14. – Where appropriate, the Bishop is to promote charitable initiatives in cooperation with other Churches or Ecclesial Communities, respecting the proper identity of each.

"Art. 15. - § 1. The Pontifical Council Cor Unum has the task of promoting the application of this legislation and ensuring that it is applied at all levels, without prejudice to the competence of the Pontifical Council for the Laity with regard to associations of the faithful as provided for in Article 133 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, the competence of the Secretariat of State’s Section for Relations with States, and the general competences of other Dicasteries and Institutes of the Roman Curia. In particular, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum is to take care that the charitable service of Catholic institutions at the international level is always to be carried out in communion with the various local Churches.
§ 2. The Pontifical Council Cor Unum is also competent for the canonical establishment of charitable agencies at the international level; it thus takes on the responsibilities of discipline and promotion entailed by law.

"I order that everything I have laid down in this Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio be fully observed, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, even if worthy of particular mention, and I decree that it be promulgated by publication in the daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano and enter into force on 10 December 2012".


Vatican City,  (VIS) - This morning the Tribunal of Vatican City State issued its sentence in the trial against Claudio Sciarpelletti, charged with complicity in the "Vatileaks" case:

"The Tribunal rules that the defendant Claudio Sciarpelletti is guilty of the offence of assisting in the elusion of the investigations by the Authorities and therefore sentences him to prison for four months.

"Pursuant to Article 26 of the Law of 21 June 1969, in view of the accused's service record and lack of previous convictions, the Tribunal reduces the sentence to imprisonment for two (2) months; pursuant to Article 9 of the Law of 21 June 1969; orders the suspension of the sentence for a period of five years, according to the conditions of law; in the light of Article 427 of the Penal Code, orders the suspension of mention of the sentence on the record of previous offences until such time as the accused commits further offence; pursuant to Articles 39 of the Penal Code and 429 of the Code of Penal Procedure, orders Claudio Sciarpelletti to defray the costs of the trial and reimburses him the sum of one thousand euros he had deposited as bail".

The sentence was deposited on 1 December 2012 and signed by Giuseppe Dalla Torre, president; Paolo Papanti-Pelletier, reporting judge; Venerando Marano, judge; and Raffaele Ottaviano, substitute registrar.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - Today it was made public that the Pope has appointed Cardinal Franc Rode C.M., prefect emeritus for the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, as his special envoy to the closing celebrations of the 550th anniversary of the archdiocese of Ljubjuana, Slovenia, which will be held on Sunday 9 December. The cardinal will be accompanied by two prelates from the archdiocese of Ljubjuana, Msgr. Anton Slabe, member of the Cathedral Chapter, and head of the eleventh Archdiaconate of the Archdiocese and judge at the metropolitan ecclesiastical tribunal, and Msgr. Stanislaw Zidar, head of the Commission for archdiocesan pastoral care of parish councils.

Today it was also made public that the Pope has nominated Cardinal Guadencio B. Rosales, archbishop emeritus of Manila (Philippines) as his special envoy to the tenth Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), which will take place in the diocesan pastoral centre of Xuan Loc, Vietnam, from 11 to 16 December and will close with a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City cathedral. The mission accompanying the cardinal will be composed of Msgr. Peter Nguyen Van Tai, Vietnamese, head of Radio Veritas Asia based in Quezon City, Philippines, and Fr. Antonio Maralit, Philippino, parish priest of San Francisco de Sales in the archdiocese of Lipa, Philippines.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience eight prelates from the Episcopal Conference of France on their "ad limina" visit:

- Archbishop Robert Le Gall O.S.B., of Toulouse.

- Archbishop Jean Legrez O.P., of Albi.

- Archbishop Maurice Gardes of Auch.

- Bishop Norbert Jose Henri Turini of Cahors.

- Bishop Bernard Ginoux of Montauban.

- Bishop Philippe Mousset of Pamiers.

- Bishop Francois Fonlupt of Rodez.

- Bishop Nicolas Brouwet of Tarbes et Lourdes.

On Saturday , the Holy Father received in audience eight prelates from the Episcopal Conference of France on their "ad limina" visit:

- Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseilles.

- Archbishop Christophe Dufour of Aix.

- Bishop Olivier de Germay of Ajaccio.

- Archbishop Jean-Pierre Cattenoz of Avignon.

- Bishop Francois-Xavier Loizeau of Digne.

- Bishop Dominique Rey of Frejus-Toulon.

- Bishop Jean-Michel di Falco Leandri of Gap.

- Bishop Louis Sankale of Nice.


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Luigi Negri, bishop of San Marino-Montefeltro, as archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio, (area 3,138, population 276,000, Catholics 272,000, priests 173, permanent deacons 12, religious 282), Italy. He succeeds Archbishop Paolo Rabitti, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Accepted the resignation from the archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, presented by Archbishop John Lee Hiong Fun-Yit Yaw upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Archbishop John Wong Soo Kau.

- Appointed Fr. Jean-Paul Vesco, O.P., provincial superior of the Dominicans in France, as bishop of Oran (area 77,353, population 8,304,000, Catholics 800, priests 10, religious 47), Algeria. He succeeds Bishop Alphonse Georger, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit. The bishop-elect was born in Lyon, France in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1996. He was appointed vicar general of the diocese of Oran in 2005. He was elected superior of the Community of Dominicans in Tlemcen in 2007, and provincial superior in France in 2011.

- Appointed Msgr. Antoni Stankiewicz as member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.

- Appointed Bishop Charles J. Scicluna of Malta as member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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