|(RADIO VATICANA REPORT) BENEDICT XVI RECEIVES PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC OF HAITI|
Vatican City, (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience President Michel Joseph Martelly of the Republic of Haiti, who subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
The cordial discussions focused on the good relations that exist between the Holy See and Haiti. Particular attention was given to the special contribution offered by the Church through her educational, social and charitable institutions, especially following the earthquake that affected the population of Haiti and in the subsequent reconstruction. The discussions concluded with emphasis on the importance of continuing collaboration for the harmonious development of Haitian society.
|BENEDICT XVI: REHABILITATION OF PRISONERS IS THE CULMINATING FEATURE OF PENAL SYSTEMS|
Vatican City, 22 November 2012 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI received participants in the seventeenth Council of Europe Conference of Directors of Prison Administration.
Speaking English, the Holy Father observed that "matters of criminal justice are continually being brought to the attention of the public and of governments, especially at a time when economic and social inequalities and increasing individualism are feeding the roots of criminality. There is a tendency, though, to limit the debate to the legislative aspect of the question of crime and punishment or to the judicial process. … Less attention is given to the way custodial sentences are carried out. In this regard, alongside the parameter of 'justice', another essential element is respect for human dignity and human rights. Yet this too, while indispensable and unfortunately still far from being observed in many countries, is not enough to safeguard fully the rights of the individual.
"A concrete commitment is needed, not just a statement of principle, in order to bring about the offender’s effective re-education, which is required both for the sake of his own dignity and with a view to his reintegration into society. … If human justice in this area is to look to divine justice and be shaped by that higher vision, the re-educational purpose of the sentence must be regarded not as an ancillary or secondary aspect of the penal system, but rather as its culminating and defining feature.
"In order to 'practise justice', it is not enough that those found guilty of crimes be simply punished: it is necessary that in punishing them, everything possible be done to correct and improve them. When this does not happen, justice is not done in an integral sense. In any event, it is important to avoid giving rise to a situation where imprisonment that fails in its re-educational role becomes counter-educational and paradoxically reinforces rather than overcomes the tendency to commit crime and the threat posed to society by the individual".
The Pope underlined how prison directors and their collaborators in the judicial and social fields can make "a significant contribution, together with all those responsible for the administration of justice in society, towards promoting this 'more genuine' justice that is 'open to the liberating power of love' and is tied to human dignity. … Contact with offenders paying the price for what they have done and the commitment needed to restore dignity and hope to people who in many cases have already suffered marginalisation and scorn call to mind the mission of Christ Himself, Who came to call not the just, but sinners, the privileged recipients of divine mercy".
The Holy Father continued, "Everyone is called to become his brother’s keeper, transcending the homicidal indifference of Cain. You in particular are asked to take custody of people who, in prison conditions, are at greater risk of losing their sense of life’s meaning and the value of personal dignity, yielding instead to discouragement and despair. Profound respect for persons, commitment to the rehabilitation of prisoners, fostering a genuinely educational community: these things are all the more urgent, in view of the growing number of 'foreign prisoners', whose circumstances are often difficult and precarious".
"Particularly important in this regard is the promotion of forms of evangelisation and spiritual care, capable of drawing out the most noble and profound side of the prisoner, awakening his enthusiasm for life and his desire for beauty, so characteristic of people who discover anew that they bear within them the indelible image of God", the Holy Father concluded.
|THE POPE: BEAUTY OF FAITH IS NOT AN OBSTACLE TO ARTISTIC CREATION|
Vatican City, 22 November 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon in the Aula Magna of the Palazzo San Pio X, the Pontifical Academies held their seventeenth public session on the theme "Pulchritudinis fidei testis: the artist, like the Church, is a witness to the beauty of faith". The session was opened by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B read out a message from Benedict XVI to the participants.
In the text the Pope confirms "the desire of the Church to rediscover the joy of common reflection and concerted action, with the aim of restoring the theme of beauty as the focus of attention within ecclesial communities, civil society and the world of culture".
Beauty, continues the Pope, "should be confirmed and expressed in all forms of art, without however detracting from the experience of faith; rather it should freely and openly confront faith in order to draw inspiration and to find subject matter. The beauty of faith, indeed, is never an obstacle to the creation of artistic beauty, as it constitutes in a sense its vital lymph and its ultimate horizon. Indeed, true artists, defined in the Vatican Council II Message to Artists as 'guardians of beauty in the world', by virtue of their special aesthetic sensibility and intuition, are capable of grasping and assimilating the true beauty of faith more deeply than others, and thus expressing and communicating it in their own language.
"In this respect, we can therefore consider the artist as an important witness to the beauty of faith. He is able to participate, through his own specific and original contribution, to the vocation and mission of the Church, especially when, through various forms of artistic expression, he wishes to or is requested to create works of art directly linked to faith and worship, or to the liturgical activity of the Church".
In the Year of Faith, the Pope invites all Christian artists and all those who engage in dialogue with faith to ensure that their artistic development becomes a "complete journey involving all dimensions of human existence, in order to witness more effectively the beauty of faith in Jesus Christ, the image of the glory of God Who illuminates the history of humanity".
The session concluded with the awarding of the pontifical academies annual prize, dedicated this year to the arts and with special emphasis on the fields of painting and sculpture. The prizewinners were the Polish sculptor Anna Gulak and the Spanish painter David Ribes Lopez, while the pontifical medal was presented to the Italian sculptor Jacopo Cardillo.
Vatican City, 22 November 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience four prelates from the Episcopal Conference of France, on their 'ad limina' visit.
- Archbishop Roland Minnerath of Dijon.
- Bishop Benoit Riviere of Autun.
- Bishop Thierry Brac de la Perriere of Nevers.
- Archbishop Yves Patenotre of Sens.