MEETING WITH BISHOPS OF ENGLAND, WALES AND SCOTLAND VATICAN CITY, 19 SEP 2010 (VIS REPORT) - Today at 4.45 p.m. the Holy Father met with the Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland in the chapel of Oscott College in Birmingham. In his address to the group the Pope recalled how, during the recent "ad limina" visit of their respective episcopal conferences, particular attention had been given to "the urgent need to proclaim the Gospel afresh in a highly secularised environment. In the course of my visit it has become clear to me how deep a thirst there is among the British people for the Good News of Jesus Christ", he said. "You have been chosen by God to offer them the living water of the Gospel, encouraging them to place their hopes, not in the vain enticements of this world, but in the firm assurances of the next. "As you proclaim the coming of the Kingdom, with its promise of hope for the poor and the needy, the sick and the elderly, the unborn and the neglected", he added, "be sure to present in its fullness the life-giving message of the Gospel, including those elements which call into question the widespread assumptions of today's culture". In this context he encouraged the prelates to avail themselves of the recently-established Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation of countries of long-standing Christian tradition. Turning his attention then to the financial crisis, Benedict XVI expressed the certainty that the bishops would call on British Catholics to show their "characteristic generosity" towards people in need. "Today's circumstances", he said, "provide a good opportunity to reinforce that message, and indeed to encourage people to aspire to higher moral values in every area of their lives, against a background of growing cynicism regarding even the possibility of virtuous living". The Holy Father went on: "Another matter which has received much attention in recent months, and which seriously undermines the moral credibility of Church leaders, is the shameful abuse of children and young people by priests and religious. ... I know that you have taken serious steps to remedy this situation, to ensure that children are effectively protected from harm and to deal properly and transparently with allegations as they arise. You have publicly acknowledged your deep regret over what has happened, and the often inadequate ways it was addressed in the past. Your growing awareness of the extent of child abuse in society, its devastating effects, and the need to provide proper victim support should serve as an incentive to share the lessons you have learned with the wider community. Indeed, what better way could there be of making reparation for these sins than by reaching out, in a humble spirit of compassion, towards children who continue to suffer abuse elsewhere? Our duty of care towards the young demands nothing less". "If we are to be effective Christian leaders, we must live lives of the utmost integrity, humility and holiness", said the Pope. "I pray that among the graces of this visit will be a renewed dedication on the part of Christian leaders to the prophetic vocation they have received, and a new appreciation on the part of the people for the great gift of the ordained ministry. Prayer for vocations will then arise spontaneously, and we may be confident that the Lord will respond by sending labourers to bring in the plentiful harvest that He has prepared throughout the United Kingdom". The Holy Father concluded by referring to "two specific matters that affect your episcopal ministry at this time. One is the imminent publication of the new translation of the Roman Missal. ... I encourage you now to seize the opportunity that the new translation offers for in-depth catechesis on the Eucharist and renewed devotion in the manner of its celebration". The second matter to which the Pope referred concerned generosity "in implementing the Apostolic Constitution 'Anglicanorum Coetibus'. This should be seen as a prophetic gesture that can contribute positively to the developing relations between Anglicans and Catholics", he said. "It helps us to set our sights on the ultimate goal of all ecumenical activity: the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all. "Let us continue to pray and work unceasingly in order to hasten the joyful day when that goal can be accomplished". Before leaving Oscott College for Birmingham airport, the Holy Father greeted and blessed 130 British seminarians who were gathered there to see him.PV-UNITED KINGDOM/ VIS 20100920 (770)IMAGES SOURCE : WWW.THEPAPALVISIT.ORG.UK
POPE THANKS BRITISH FOR WARM WELCOME AND HOSPITALITY VATICAN CITY, 19 SEP 2010 (VIS) - At 6.15 p.m. today Benedict XVI arrived at Birmingham airport where the departure ceremony took place at the end of his apostolic trip to the UK. Following some words from David Cameron, prime minister of the United Kingdom, the Holy Father arose to address some remarks to those present. "Thank you for the warmth of your welcome and for the hospitality that I have enjoyed", said the Pope, who also expressed his gratitude "for all the hard work of preparation, on the part of both the present and the previous government, the civil service, local authorities and police, and the many volunteers". "During my time with you", he went on, "I have been able to meet representatives of the many communities, cultures, languages and religions that make up British society. The very diversity of modern Britain is a challenge to its government and people, but it also represents a great opportunity to further inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue for the enrichment of the entire community". The Pope mentioned his meetings with Queen Elizabeth II and with political leaders, and his address to both Houses of Parliament, expressing the hope "that these occasions will contribute to confirming and strengthening the excellent relations between the Holy See and the United Kingdom, especially in co-operation for international development, in care for the natural environment, and in the building of a civil society with a renewed sense of shared values and common purpose". On the subject of the joint celebrations with the Archbishop of Canterbury and bishops of the Church of England in Westminster Abbey - "a place which speaks so eloquently of our shared traditions and culture" - the Holy Father said: "As Britain is home to so many religious traditions, I was grateful to have the opportunity to meet their representatives and to share some thoughts with them about the contribution that the religions can offer to the development of a healthy pluralistic society. "Naturally", he added in conclusion, "my visit was directed in a special way to the Catholics of the United Kingdom. I treasure the time spent with the bishops, clergy, religious and laity, and with teachers, pupils and older people. It was especially moving to celebrate with them, here in Birmingham, the beatification of a great son of England, Cardinal John Henry Newman. With his vast legacy of scholarly and spiritual writings, I am certain that he still has much to teach us about Christian living and witness amid the challenges of today's world, challenges which he foresaw with such remarkable clarity". At 6.45 p.m. the Pope boarded his flight to Rome. The plane landed at 10 p.m. local time in Rome's Ciampino airport whence he travelled by car to the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo.PV-UNITED KINGDOM/ VIS 20100920 (480)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 20 SEP 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Brooklyn, U.S.A., presented by Bishop Ignatius A. Catanello, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.