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Monday, February 4, 2013


Vatican City, 4 February 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Press Office of the Holy See, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family presented the details of the conference "From Milan to Philadelphia: Perspectives of the Pontifical Council for the Family", which analysed the results of the 7th World Meeting of Families that took place in Milan in May of last year. Also participating in the press conference were married couple Francesca Dossi and Alfonso Colzani, directors of the Archdiocese of Milan's Service for Families.

The archbishop noted that that event "showed the vital force that families represent in the Church and in society itself. … Of course, there are many problems related to marriage and the family, but we must not forget … that the family continues to be the fundamental 'resource' of our society. … The statistics are unanimous in pointing out that the family is the first place of safety, refuge, and support for life and remains at the top of the vast majority of young person's wishes. In Italy, for example, around 80% of young people say that they prefer marriage (whether it be civil or religious) and only 20% would choose co-habitation. … In France, surveys indicate that 77% want to build their family life, staying with the same person throughout their lives. … On the other hand, the need for family is inscribed on the human heart, since God tells us 'It is not good for the man to be alone'."

"This profound truth, which marks human life so radically, seems to take a beating from counter culture. … There is an escalation in the race to individualism that is breaking up the family as well as other forms of society. That is why the breakdown of the family is the first problem of contemporary society … It is true that much of contemporary Western History has been conceived as a liberation from every bond: from ties to others and thus the family, from any responsibility toward the other. It is also true that bonds have, sometimes, oppressed individuality. But today, the vertigo of solitude with its cult of 'me', free from any attachment … and the disorientation caused by globalization further accentuate our becoming locked within ourselves and the temptation of self-absorption."

"The Church," he continued, "is concerned … with the current crisis in marriage and the family, because she is aware that both are a Gospel, a good news for men and women today who are often alone, lacking love, parenting, and support. … The Church, an 'expert in humanity' knows well … the high price of the fragility of the family, which is paid mainly by the children (born and unborn), by the elderly, and by the ill. … At times in various historical periods there have been transformations, even profound ones, in the institution of the family. But it has never abandoned its 'genome', its deep dimension, that is, its being as an institution formed by a man, a woman, and children. That is why a careful cultural reflection and an even more vigorous defence of the family is urgent, so that it might be placed―and quickly―at the centre of politics, the economy, and culture, in the different countries as well as in the different international organizations, even involving believers of other religious traditions and all persons of good will."

"The Pontifical Council for the Family feels the urgency to help from within as well as from outside the confines of the Church in order to rediscovery the value of the Family. ...There is great work to be done on the cultural level: working to restore value to a culture of the family so that it might x once more become attractive to and relevant for life itself and for society. … Taking care of a family does not mean restricting oneself to a segment of life or of society. Today it means widening horizons beyond oneself and deciding to participate in the building of a society that is familial, even of embracing the 'family' of peoples and nations."

The prelate concluded by pointing out the initiatives that the pontifical council will launch throughout this year up to the next World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, including the presentation of the Charter of Rights of the Family―which that dicastery has developed over thirty years―at the sites of the United Nations in New York and Geneva, and the European Parliament. In April, a series of seminars entitled "Dialogues for the Family" will begin, in which experts in different fields will address issues concerning the main challenges related to marriage and the family. In Rome, at the end of June, an international congress of Catholic lawyers will take place, focusing on the rights of the family. Finally, in October, the plenary assembly of the pontifical council will look at the Charter of the Rights of the Family. On the 26th and 27th of that month, for the Year of Faith, there will be a pilgrimage of families to the tomb of St. Peter.


Vatican City, 4 February 2013 (VIS) – On Monday, 11 February, an Ordinary Public Consistory will be held in the Consistory Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace for a vote on canonization of the following Blesseds:
- Antonio Primaldo and Companions, martyrs,
- Laura di Santa Caterina da Siena Montoya Y Upegui, virgin, foundress of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Mary Immaculate and St Catherine of Siena, and
- Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, co-foundress of the Congregation of the Handmaids of St Margaret Mary (Alacoque) and the Poor.


Vatican City, 3 February 2013 (VIS) – The Holy Father's Sunday meditation before praying the Angelus today, was dedicated to the Gospel of St. Luke, which narrates Jesus' return to the synagogue in Nazareth after a period of absence. Jesus reads a prophecy from Isaiah regarding the Messiah and makes it known that it is referring to Him, which provokes confusion among his countrymen who, on the one hand admire Him but on the other hand ask: "Isn’t this the son of Joseph?" or rather, "what aspirations could a carpenter from Nazareth have?"

"Recognizing this rejection, which confirms the proverb 'no prophet is accepted in his own land', Jesus addresses the people in the synagogue with words that sound like a provocation. He cites two miracles performed in favour of the non-Isrealites by the great prophets Elijah and Elisha in order to demonstrate that, at times, there is more faith outside of Israel. At that point, the reaction is unanimous, everyone gets up and they throw Him out, even trying to throw Him off a precipice. With tremendous calm, however, He walks through the midst of the enraged crowd and takes his leave. At this point it is natural to ask: Why did Jesus want to provoke this rupture? At the beginning, the people admired Him and perhaps He could have gotten certain agreement … but this is precisely the point. Jesus did not come to seek the agreement of humanity―as He will tell Pilate in the end―but to 'to testify to the truth'. The true prophet does not obey anyone but God, and places himself at the service of truth, ready to pay in person. It is true that Jesus is the prophet of love, but love has its own truth. Better yet, love and truth are two names for the same reality, the two names of God. These words of St. Paul echo in today's liturgy: 'love... is not pompous, ... it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,e 6it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.' Believing in God means renouncing our own prejudices and welcoming the concrete face in which He reveals himself: the man Jesus of Nazareth. This path also leads to recognizing and serving him in others."

"Mary's attitude in all this is enlightening. Who more than she was familiar with Jesus' humanity? But she was never scandalized like her fellow Nazarenes. She safeguarded the mystery in her heart and always know how to welcome him again and anew in her faith journey, up to the night of the Cross and the full light of the Resurrection."

After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father noted that this first Sunday in February marks the Day for Life in Italy. "I join with all the Italian bishops," he said, "whose messages invite us to invest in life and in the family as an effective answer to the current crisis. I greet the Movement for Life and wish them success in their initiative called 'One of Us', to make Europe more and more a place in which the dignity of each human being is protected. I also greet the representatives of the Faculty of Medicine from the University of Rome, particularly the professors of obstetrics and gynaecology, … and encourage them to train health care workers in the culture of life."


Vatican City, 3 February 2013 (VIS) – Benedict XVI has written a letter to His Beatitude Louis Raphael Sako, the new Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, granting the "Ecclesiastica Communio" requested of him by the Patriarch.

In the text the Pope asks the Lord to fill His Beatitude with "every grace and blessing" and that he be enlightened "in order to tirelessly proclaim the Gospel, following the living tradition that dates back to St. Thomas the Apostle. May the good and eternal Shepherd sustain you in the faith of our fathers and give you the zeal of yesterday's and today's martyrs to safeguard the spiritual and liturgical heritage of the venerated Chaldean Church as its 'Pater et Caput'. May your ministry be a comfort to the faithful Chaldeans in the motherland and in diaspora, but also to the entire Catholic community and for Christians living in the land of Abraham, as a stimulus for reconciliation, for mutual acceptance, and for peace for the entire Iraqi population."

At the same time, the Holy Father wrote a letter, in Latin, to Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, naming him as the pontifical delegate to preside, Monday, 4 February in the Vatican Basilica, over the Eucharistic celebration in confirmation of the ecclesial communion with the new Patriarch.


Vatican City, 2 February 2013 (VIS) – At 5:30pm this afternoon in the Vatican Basilica, Benedict XVI presided at Mass for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the Day of Consecrated Life for members of institutes for consecrated life and societies of apostolic life. Following are ample excerpts of the Holy Father's homily.

"'A light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel', thus Simeon defines the Messiah of the Lord at the end of his song of blessing. The theme of light, … is strongly present in this liturgy. In fact, the liturgy opens with a … procession in which the general superiors of the institutes for consecrated life represented here carried lit candles. This sign, specific to the liturgical tradition of this Feast, is very expressive. It shows the beauty and the value of consecrated life as the reflection of Christ's light and recalls Mary's entrance into the Temple: the Virgin Mary, consecrated woman par excellence, carried Light itself in her arms, the incarnate Word who had come to dispel the darkness of the world with God's love."

"You are all represented in that symbolic pilgrimage, which in the Year of Faith expresses even more strongly your own assembly in the Church, to be confirmed in the faith and to renew the offering of yourselves to God. … In the light of Christ, with the many charisms of contemplative and apostolic life, you cooperated in the Church's life and mission in the world. In this spirit of gratitude and communion, I would like to offer you three invitations so that you might fully enter through that 'door of faith' that is always open to us."

"Firstly, I invite you to nourish a faith that is capable of illuminating your vocation. In this regard I urge you to remember, in an interior pilgrimage, of the 'first love' with which the Lord Jesus Christ warmed your heart, not out of nostalgia, but to nourish its flame. This is why it is necessary to be with Him, in the silence of adoration, and thus to reawaken the desire and the joy of sharing one's life and choices, of the obedience of the faith, the blessedness of the poor, and the fundamental nature of love."

Secondly, I invite you to a faith that knows how to recognize the wisdom of weakness. In today's joys and afflictions, when the harshness and weight of the cross make themselves felt, do not doubt that Christ's 'kenosis' is already a paschal victory. In societies of efficiency and success, your life, marked by its 'minority' and by the weakness of the small, by its empathy with those who have no voice, becomes an evangelic sign of contradiction."

"Finally, I invite you to renew the faith that makes you pilgrims toward the future. By its nature consecrated life is a pilgrimage of the spirit, in search of a Face that sometimes shows itself and sometimes hides itself: 'Faciem tuam, Domine, requiram'. May this be your heart's constant desire, the fundamental criterion that guides your path, both in its small daily steps as well as in its more important decisions. Do not fall in with the prophets of doom who proclaim the end or the non-sense of consecrated life in the Church in our days. Rather, 'put on the Lord Jesus Christ', 'put on the armour of light' … and remain wakeful and vigilant."

"The joy of consecrated life necessarily goes through participation in Christ's cross. That is how it was for Mary, Most Holy. Hers is the suffering of a heart that is wholly one with the Heart of the Son of God, pierced by love. God's light springs forth from that wound, and from the suffering, sacrifice, and gift of self that consecrated persons live out of love for God and others shines forth that same light, which evangelises the nations. On this Feast, I wish particularly for you consecrated persons, that your lives might always have the flavour of evangelic 'parrhesia', so that, in you, the Good News might be lived, witnessed to, announced, and shine forth as the Word of truth."


Vatican City, 4 February 2013 (VIS) – Published today was the papal letter naming Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, as the Holy Father's special envoy to the ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Heath that will take place in Vailankanni, India and the 25th anniversary of the institution of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) scheduled for 911 February. The letter, written in Latin, is dated 10 January.

Also named were the members of the mission who will accompany the cardinal: Fr. Michael Arockisamy, rector of the sanctuary Basilica of Vailankanni and Fr. Alex Joseph Vadakumthala, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Verapoly, Kerala, India.

Also published today was the papal letter, dated 10 January and written in Latin, written to Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, naming him special envoy to the celebration of the 21st World Day of the Sick on 11 February, which will take place at the Marian Shrine of Altotting, Bavaria, Germany. The mission to accompany the archbishop is composed of Msgr. Ludwig Limbrunner, rector of the shrine of Altotting, and Msgr. Gunther Mandl, director of the Business Office of the Diocese of Passau.


Vatican City, 4 February 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

His Beatitude Louis Raphael I Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, along with members of the Synod of Bishops of the Chaldean Church,

Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, apostolic nuncio to Australia and titular of Hodelm, and

eight prelates from the Emilia-Romagna region of the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Antonio Lanfranchi of Modena-Nonantola,
- Archbishop Luigi Negri of Ferrara-Comacchio,
- Archbishop Lorenzo Ghizzoni of Ravenna-Cervia,
- Bishop Francesco Lambiasi of Rimini,
- Bishop Tommaso Ghirelli of Imola,
- Bishop Enrico Solmi of Parma,
- Bishop Douglas Regattieri of Cesena-Sarsina, and
- Bishop Massimo Camisasca, F.S.C.B., of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla.

On Saturday, 2, February, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and

seven prelates from the Emilia-Romagna region of the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:
- Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna,
- Archbishop Paolo Rabitti, emeritus of Ferrara-Comacchio,
- Bishop Claudio Stagni of Faenza-Modigliana,
- Bishop Lino Pizzi of Forli-Bertinoro,
- Bishop Carlo Mazza of Fidenza,
- Bishop Gianni Ambrosio of Piacenza-Bobbio, and
- Bishop Francesco Cavina of Carpi.


Vatican City, 2 February 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed:

Bishop Joseph Effiong Ekuwem as archbishop of Calabar (area 7,754, population 1,192,031, Catholics 381,230, priests 74, religious 71), Nigeria. Archbishop Ekuwem, previously bishop of Uyo, Nigeria, succeeds Archbishop Joseph Edra Ukpo, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

Bishop Jesús Juárez Párraga, S.D.B., as archbishop of Sucre (area 49,975, population 630,000, Catholics 552,00, priests 92, permanent deacons 1, religious 236), Bolivia. Archbishop Párraga, previously bishop of El Alto, Bolivia, succeeds Archbishop Jesús Gervasio Pérez Rodríguez, O.F.M., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

Bishop Jean Teyrouz, I.C.P.B., as bishop of the Eparchy of Sainte-Croix-de-Paris of the Armenians (Catholics 30,200, priests 4, religious 6), France. Bishop Teyrouz, previously curial bishop of the Patriarchate of Cilicia of the Armenians, Lebanon, succeeds Bishop Gregoire Ghabroyan, I.C.P.B., whose whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same eparchy the Holy Father accepted in accordance with canon 210 para. 12 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

Archbishop Michael August Blume, S.V.D., as apostolic nuncio to Uganda. Archbishop Blume, titular of Alexanum, was previously apostolic nuncio to Benin and Togo.

Fr. Percy Lorenzo Galvan Flores as prelate bishop of Corocoro (area 28,823, population 244,000, Catholics 214,000, priests 19, permanent deacons 2, religious 5), Bolivia. The bishop-elect was born in Tomas Frias, Potosi, Bolivia and was ordained a priest in 1991. He has served in several pastoral roles as well as having been rector of the San Cristobal Seminary of the Archdiocese of Sucre, Bolivia between 2001 and 2005 and vicar general of that same archdiocese between 2005 and 2007. Most recently he has been pastor of San Jose Parish, Sucre, director of the Ecclesiatical Museum, and a member of the Economic, Presbyteral, and Pastoral Councils of that archdiocese.

Msgr. Michel Aupetit as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Paris (area 105, population 2,233,818, Catholics 1,340,291, priests 1,353, permanent deacons 109, religious 2,831), France. The bishop-elect was born in Versailles, France in 1951 and was ordained a priest in 1995. Licensed in medicine by the faculty of Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospitalwith a specialization in bioethics, which he taught for nine years at the Henri Mondor Hospital of Creteilhe practised medicine for 12 years in Paris. Since ordination he has served in several pastoral roles and, since 2006, has been the vicar general of the Archdiocese of Paris. The Holy Father has assigned him the titular see of Maxita.

Fr. Eugenio Coter as vicar apostolic of Pando (area 86,261, population 208,867, Catholics 187,981, priests 24, religious 33), Bolivia. The bishop-elect was born in Gazzaniga, Italy in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1981. Since ordination the bishop-elect has served as pastor to several Italian and Bolivian parishes as well as having been a member of a diocesan pastoral council, an episcopal delegate for social outreach and, most recently, the spiritual director of the San Luis Seminary of the Archdiocese of Cochabamba, Bolivia. The Holy Father has assigned him the titular see of Thibiuca. He succeeds Bishop Luis Morgan Casey, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same vicariate apostolic the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

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