TWELFTH GENERAL CONGREGATION VATICAN CITY, 21 OCT 2010 (VIS REPORTS) - During the Twelfth General Congregation of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, held this morning in the Vatican's Synod Hall, the unified list of propositions was presented. The president delegate on duty was His Beatitude Ignace Youssif III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians, Lebanon. Subsequently the Synod Fathers, meeting in language groups, began to prepare their amendments to the propositions. This afternoon the Synod Fathers will again meet in language groups to continue work on preparing the amendments. At the end of the day they will deliver the collectively amended propositions to the secretary general of the Synod.SE/ VIS 20101021 (120)(RADIO VATICANA IMAGE POPE WITH KOREAN AMBASSADOR)
DECLARATION ON PRECAUTIONARY FREEZE OF IOR DEPOSIT VATICAN CITY, 21 OCT 2010 (VIS) - News of the confirmation of a decision by an Italian court to impose a precautionary freeze on a deposit held by the IOR (Institute for Works of Religion) at the Credito Artigiano Bank "was received with amazement", Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. said yesterday. "We believe this is an interpretative and formal problem", he explained. "The directors of the IOR are certain they will very soon be able clarify the question with the competent authorities".OP/ VIS 20101021 (100)
KOREAN CHURCH CONTRIBUTES TO COUNTRY'S WELLBEING VATICAN CITY, 21 OCT 2010 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received the Letters of Credence of Han Hong-soon, the new ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Holy See. Addressing the diplomat in English, the Pope noted "the remarkable economic growth that your country has experienced in recent years, which has transformed Korea from a net recipient of aid into a donor country". He also recalled words used by the Korean president on his visit to the Vatican last year, to the effect that "there are dangers involved in rapid economic growth which can all too easily bypass ethical considerations, with the result that the poorer elements in society tend to be excluded from their rightful share of the nation's prosperity. The financial crisis of recent years has exacerbated the problem, but it has also focused attention on the need to renew the ethical foundations of all economic and political activity. "I wish to encourage your government", the Holy Father added, "in its commitment to ensure that social justice and care for the common good grow side by side with material prosperity, and I assure you that the Catholic Church in Korea is ready and willing to work with the government as it seeks to promote these worthy goals". Referring then to the Catholic Church's commitment in Korean society, the Pope highlighted how, "by means of her network of schools and her educational programmes she contributes greatly to the moral and spiritual formation of the young. Through her work for inter-religious dialogue she seeks to break down barriers between peoples and to foster social cohesion based on mutual respect and growth in understanding. In her charitable outreach she seeks to assist the poor and the needy, particularly refugees and migrant workers who so often find themselves on the margins of society". The Church's role, he went on, "involves proclaiming the truths of the Gospel, which continually challenge us to look beyond the narrow pragmatism and partisan interests that can so often condition political choices, and to recognise the obligations incumbent upon us in view of the dignity of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God. This requires of us an unambiguous commitment to defend human life at every stage from conception to natural death, to promote stable family life in accordance with the norms of the natural law and to build peace and justice wherever there is conflict". Having then expressed the Holy See's appreciation "for the active role played by the Republic of Korea within the international community", Benedict XVI noted that, "by promoting the peace and stability of the peninsula, as well as the security and economic integration of nations throughout the Asia-Pacific region, through its extensive diplomatic links with African countries, and especially by hosting next month's G20 Summit in Seoul, your government has given ample proof of its role as an important player on the world stage, and has helped to guarantee that the process of globalisation will be directed by considerations of solidarity and fraternity". The Holy Father concluded his remarks to the ambassador by referring to the Congress of Asian Catholic Laity, held recently in the Korean capital Seoul. "I see in this important event a clear sign of the fruitful co-operation that already exists between your country and the Holy See and that bodes well for the future of our relations", he said. "It was only right that the congress's focus was on the lay faithful, who ... not only sowed the first seeds of the Gospel on Korean soil but bore witness in great numbers to their firm faith in Christ through the shedding of their blood. I am confident that, inspired and strengthened by the witness of the Korean martyrs, lay men and women will continue to build up the life and wellbeing of the nation".CD/ VIS 20101021 (660)
ROMANIA: CONTINUING THE PROCESS OF RECONSTRUCTION VATICAN CITY, 21 OCT 2010 (VIS) - Bogadan Tataru-Cazaban, the new ambassador of Romania to the Holy See, this morning presented his Letters of Credence to Benedict XVI who, in his address to the diplomat, recalled how "twenty years ago Romania decided to write a new chapter in its history". However, the Pope went on, "so many years passed under the yoke of a totalitarian ideology leave deep scars in people's mentality, and in their political and economic life. Following the euphoria of freedom, your nation is solidly committed to a process of reconstruction. Its entry in to the European Union also marked an important stage in the search for true democratisation". "In order to continue this profound renewal", he went on, "new challenges must be faced so as to ensue that your society does not focus exclusively on the search for wellbeing and the thirst for profit, understandable consequences of a period of more than forty years of privation. However it is important to ensure that integrity, honesty and sincerity prevail. These virtues must inspire and guide all members of society". "Romania is made up of a mosaic of peoples", the Pope remarked. "This variety could be seen as an obstacle to national unity, but also as a factor that characterises and enriches national identity. ... Administering the legacy of communism is difficult due to the fact that it favoured the disintegration of society and of individuals. Indeed, authentic values were obscured in favour of false ideologies, in the name of the national interest. For this reason you now have to start the difficult task of ordering human affairs correctly, making good use of your freedom". "The family occupies a primary place in this process of rebuilding social cohesion,. ... Family and education are the starting point for combating poverty and so contributing to respect for all people: respect for minorities, respect for the family and for life itself. Family and education are the soil in which basic ethical values sink their roots and where religious life grows". The Pope then went on to speak of the nation's "long and rich religious tradition" which, he said, "was also injured during the dark decades. Some of these wounds are still open and must be cured, using means acceptable to each community. It is, indeed, appropriate that injustices inherited from the past should be repaired without being afraid of doing justice. To this end the situation should be tackled at two levels: at the State level by promoting genuine dialogue between the State and the various religious leaders and, in the second place, by fomenting harmonious relations between the different religious communities". In this context the Holy Father also referred to the new Law of Worship and the Mixed Commission, established in 1998, the work of which "must be reactivated", he said. The Catholic Church sees ecumenical dialogue "as the best way to know her brothers in the faith, and to build the Kingdom of God with them, while respecting the specific identify of each. Witness of fraternity between Catholics and Orthodox, in a spirit of charity and justice, must prevail over difficulties and open hearts to reconciliation. In this context, many were the fruits of John Paul II's historic visit a decade ago, his first to a nation with an Orthodox majority. Commitment to dialogue in charity and truth must be strengthened, and joint initiatives promoted. This dialogue will not cease to be a ferment for unity and harmony, not only in your country but also in Europe", Benedict XVI concluded.CD/ VIS 20101021 (600)
AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 21 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.AP/ VIS 20101021 (30)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 21 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father: - Appointed Bishop Jose Alejandro Castano Arbelaez O.A.R., auxiliary of the archdiocese of Cali, Colombia, as bishop of Cartago (area 4,000, population 481,000, Catholics 471,000, priests 88, religious 197), Colombia. - Appointed Dom Diego Gualtiero Rosa O.S.B., abbot of the monastery of S. Maria del Pilastrello in Lendinara, Italy, as abbot of the territorial abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore (area 49, population 495, Catholics 495, priests 15, religious 30), Italy. He succeeds Dom Michelangelo Riccardo Tiribilli, O.S.B., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same territorial abbey the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with the statues of the Benedictine Olivetan Congregation.NER:RE/ VIS 20101021 (120)
IN MEMORIAM VATICAN CITY, 21 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks: - Bishop Jorge Ardila Serrano, emeritus of Girardot, Colombia, on 12 October at the age of 85. - Bishop Charles Caruana, emeritus of Gibraltar, on 1 October at the age of 77. - Bishop Julio Parise Loro C.S.I., former apostolic vicar of Napo, Ecuador, on 5 October at the age of 90. - Bishop Franz Xaver Schwarzenbock, former auxiliary of Munich and Freising, on 10 October at the age of 87.