BENEDICT XVI EXALTS THE IMPORTANCE OF FAITHFULNESS
VATICAN CITY, 25 JUN 2011 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI received 2,000 members of the Association of Sts. Peter and Paul, who are currently celebrating their organisation's 40th anniversary. (IMAGE SOURCE RADIO VATICANA)
The association came into being at the wish of Paul VI who in 1970 disbanded various groups of pontifical guards, including the Palatine Guard of Honour created by Pius IX in 1850. His intention was to bring together a group of the faithful ofRome who wished to express their unconditional fidelity to the Apostolic See. Former members of the guard were thus invited to join a new group called the Association of Sts. Peter and Paul, the statutes of which were approved by Paul VI in 1971.
The association is divided into three sections: liturgy, culture and charity, plus a general secretariat. It undertakes various initiatives, with the aim of bearing witness to Christian life, the apostolate and faithfulness to the Apostolic See.
In his address the Holy Father thanked them for the charitable work they do in collaboration with the Daughters of Charity, and for their help in ensuring the smooth running of celebrations in the Vatican. "These tasks", he said, "require profound motivation, which must be constantly renewed by an intense spiritual life. In order to help others to pray, our own hearts must be turned towards God; in order to call them to respect holy places and holy things, we too must have a Christian sense of the sacred; in order to help our neighbour with authentic Christian love, we must have a humble heart and an attitude of faith. Your actions, often undertaken in silence, are an indication, an example, a reminder, and as such they also have an educational value".
Benedict XVI commended the members of the association to the Virgin Mary, whom they venerate as "Virgo Fidelis". "Today there is more need for faithfulness than ever before", he said. "We live in a society which has lost this value, which exalts acceptance of change, of 'mobility' and 'flexibility', also for legitimate economic and organisational reasons. But the quality of human relationships is measured by faithfulness. Sacred Scripture teaches us that God is faithful".
The Pope concluded his address by thanking those present for their gift of a chasuble for the sixtieth anniversary of his ordination as a priest. "It reminds me", he said, "that I am always first and foremost a priest of Christ".
VATICAN CITY, 25 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter, written in Latin and dated 17 June, in which the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the 350th anniversary of the Marian shrine of Werl, in the German archdiocese of Paderborn, due to take place on 2 July.
The cardinal will be accompanied on his mission by Msgr. Wilhelm Hentze, provost of the metropolitan chapter, and Msgr. Theodor Ahrens, canon of the metropolitan chapter.
VATICAN CITY, 25 JUN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today released the programme of Benedict XVI's forthcoming apostolic trip to Madrid, Spain, for the twenty-sixth World Youth Day (WYD).
The Holy Father is due to depart by plane from Rome's Ciampino airport at 9.30 a.m. on Thursday 19 August, landing at midday at Barajas airport in Madrid where a welcome ceremony will take place. At 7.15 p.m. that day he will join a group of young people to pass under the Puerta de Alcala in the city's Plaza de Independencia, before moving on to Plaza de Cibeles where youth from all over the world will be gathered to greet him.
On Friday 19 August the Pope will celebrate Mass privately in the chapel of the apostolic nunciature in Madrid then, at 10 a.m., pay a courtesy visit to the Spanish king and queen in the Palacio de la Zarzuela. At 11.30 a.m. he will attend a meeting with young religious and another with young university professors at the basilica of San Lorenzo de El Escorial.
At 5.30 p.m., having had lunch with young people at the apostolic nunciature, Benedict XVI is scheduled to hold an official meeting with Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, prime minister of Spain. Later, at 7.30 p.m., the Pope will return to Plaza de Cibeles where he will preside at the Way of the Cross.
On Saturday 20 August Benedict XVI will hear confession from a number of young people inMadrid's Jardines del Buen Retiro before celebrating Mass for seminarians at 10 a.m. in the cathedral of Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena. At5 p.m. that day he will meet with the WYD organising committees at the apostolic nunciature then visit the Fundacion Instituto San Jose. At 8.30 p.m. he will preside at a prayer vigil with young people at the airport of Cuatro Vientos.
At 9.30 a.m. on Sunday 21 August, the Holy Father will preside at the World Youth Day Mass at the airport of Cuatro Vientos, then pray the Angelus. After the ceremony he will have lunch with Spanish cardinals and the papal entourage at the apostolic nunciature.
The Holy Father is scheduled to leave the apostolic nunciature at 5 p.m. He will meet with WYD volunteers in the new Feria de Madrid - IFEMA before travelling to the airport of Barajas where the departure ceremony will take place at 6.30 p.m. The papal plane will depart for Rome at 7 p.m. where it is scheduled to land at 9.30 p.m.
VATICAN CITY, 25 JUN 2011 (VIS) - His Beatitude Bechara Rai, patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, with the consent of the Synod of the Maronite Church and having informed the Apostolic See, has transferred, in accordance with canon 85 para. 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, Archbishop Paul Nabil El-Sayah of Haifa of the Maronites, patriarchal exarch for Jerusalem, Palestine and Jordan, to the office of bishop of the Patriarchal Curia. The Holy Father has allowed the prelate to maintain his title of archbishop "ad personam".
VATICAN CITY, 26 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus today, Benedict XVI made some remarks about the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the "Feast of the Eucharist", which is being celebrated today in many countries around the world and which represents "the Church's most valuable treasure".
The Pope explained how "the Eucharist is like a beating heart giving life to the mystical Body of the Church, which is a social organisation entirely founded on its spiritual yet tangible bond with Christ. ... Without the Eucharist the Church would simply cease to exist. In fact, it is the Eucharist which renders a human community a mystery of communion, capable of bringing God to the world and the world to God. The Holy Spirit, which transforms the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, also transforms those who receive it with faith into limbs of Christ's Body, thus the Church truly is a Sacrament of men's unity, with God and with one another.
"In an increasingly individualistic culture", Benedict XVI added, "such as that in which we live in western societies and which is tending to spread throughout the world, the Eucharist constitutes a kind of 'antidote', working on the hearts and minds of believers and continually infusing them with the logic of communion, service and sharing, the logic of the Gospel. The first Christians inJerusalem were an evident sign of this new lifestyle because they lived in fraternity and shared all their worldly goods, so that no one should be left in want. ... In later generations too, the Church, despite human limitations and errors, has continued to be a force for communion in the world. We think particularly of the times of greatest difficulty, times of trial: for example, what could the chance of coming together at Sunday Mass have meant in countries ruled by totalitarian regimes? ... Yet the vacuum produced by false freedoms can be equally dangerous; thus communion with the Body of Christ is like a medicine for the mind and the will, helping us rediscover our taste for truth and for the common good".
After the Marian prayer, the Holy Father turned his attention to last Saturday's beatification in the German city of Lubeck of Frs. Johannes Prassek, Eduard Muller and Hermann Lange, killed by the Nazis in Hamburg in 1943. He also mentioned today's beatification in Milan, Italy, of Fr. Serafino Morazzone, an "exemplary pastor" from the area of Lecco who lived between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; Fr. Clemente Vismara, a "heroic missionary" of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions in Burma, and Sr. Enrica Alfieri of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity, known as the "angel" of the Milanese prison of San Vittore.
"In Italy, this Sunday preceding the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, marks the Day of the Pope's Charity", said the Holy Father. "I wish to thank everyone who, with prayer and offerings, supports my apostolic and charitable activities".
Finally the Pope had words of greeting for "all the people of Poland and, in particular, Polish bishops and faithful who are participating in celebrations to mark the 600th anniversary of the consecration of the cathedral of Wroclawek".
VATICAN CITY, 27 JUN 2011 (VIS) - At midday today in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present the new Vatican internet portal "news.va", which will be inaugurated by the Pope tomorrow, 28 June, eve of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.
Participating in today's event were: Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office; Giovanni Maria Vian, director of the "Osservatore Romano" newspaper; Gustavo Entrala, founder and director of the 101 advertising agency, and Thaddeus Jones, an official of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
Archbishop Celli expressed his happiness at having the opportunity to present the new multimedia portal which will come online on 29 June, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, "thus completing the task entrusted to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications by the Secretariat of State", he said.
"Our desire", he went on, is to ensure that the new portal "should be an expression of our faithfulness and dedication to the Holy Father, for the sixtieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood".
The president of the dicastery explained how it will now be possible "to consult atnews.va the principal news items printed or transmitted by other Vatican media outlets": the "Osservatore Romano", Vatican Radio, the Vatican Information Service, Agenzia Fides, the Holy See Press Office and the Vatican Television Centre.
The new portal will contain news items relating to the words and activities of the Holy Father in the course of his Magisterium, declarations issued by the various dicasteries of the Holy See, and information about important global events and situations affecting the particular Churches.
"For the first few months", Archbishop Celli explained, "the portal will be available in just two languages: Italian and English. ... After the summer the website will be restyled and at least one new language added, perhaps Spanish. Subsequently it will also become available in French and Portuguese".
Concerning its relationship with other Vatican media outlets, the archbishop pointed out that the new portal "will not have a specific editorial slant. ... Each of the outlets will maintain its own autonomy and identity, as will be evident from the way in which the information is presented".
The main Vatican website (vatican.va) "will not disappear, but will continue its mission to put the Holy Father's Magisterium online. Since it was founded, theVatican website has served as a source of documentation and so it will remain, working in harmony with the new portal".
The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications expressed particular thanks to Thaddeus Jones for having co-ordinated the activities "which brought this long and not always easy process to a successful conclusion".
Finally he also thanked Gustavo Entrala of the 101 advertising agency, who oversaw the technical and graphic aspects of the initiative.
VATICAN CITY, 27 JUN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorised the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:
- Servant of God Mariano Arciero, Italian diocesan priest (1707-1788).
- Servant of God Jean-Joseph (ne Alcide Lataste), French priest of the Order of Friars Preachers and founder of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Dominic of Betania (1832-1869).
- Servant of God Maria Ines-Teresa of the Blessed Sacrament Arias Espinosa (nee Manuela de Jesus), Mexican foundress of the Poor Clare Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and the Missionaries of Christ for the Universal Church (1904-1981).
- Servant of God Hildegard Burjan, German laywoman and foundress of the Sisters of Social Charity (1883-1933).
- Servant of God Salvio Huix Miralpeix, bishop of Lleida, Spain, killed in hatred of the faith in 1936.
- Servant of God Karl Lampert, Austrian diocesan priest and pro-vicar of the apostolic administration of Innsbruck Feldkirch, killed in hatred of the faith in 1944.
- Servants of God Josefina Martinez Perez of the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, and twelve companions, killed in hatred of the faith in 1936.
- Servant of God Giovanni Marinoni (ne Francesco), Italian professed priest of the Order of Cleeks Regular Theatines (1490-1562).
- Servant of God Jose Maria Garcia Lahiguera, archbishop of Valencia, Spain, and founder of the Congregation of Oblate Sisters of Christ the Priest (1903-1989).
- Servant of God Matthew Kadalikattil, Indian diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1872-1935).
- Servant of God Raffaele Dimiccoli, Italian diocesan priest (1887-1956).
- Servant of God Sofia Czeska-Maciejowska, Polish foundress of the Congregation of the Virgins of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1584-1650).
- Servant of God Maria Giuseppina Benvenuti (nee Zeinab Alif), Sudanese professed religious of the Order of St. Clare (1845/46-1926).
- Servant of God Laura Meozzi, Italian professed religious of the Institute of Daughters of Our Lady of Help (1873-1951).
- Servant of God Luigia (Gina) Tincani, Italian foundress of the Union of St. Catherine of Sienaof the Missionary Sisters of Schools (1889-1976).
VATICAN CITY, 27 JUN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
- Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, archbishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
- Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile, Chile.
- Cardinal Roger Etchegaray president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".
On Saturday 25 June he received in separate audiences:
- Fra' Matthew Festing, prince and grand master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, accompanied by an entourage.
- Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines.
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.