PRESENTATION OF WORLD YOUTH DAY 2011 VATICAN CITY, 5 OCT 2010 (VIS REPORT) - A press conference was held this morning in the Holy See Press Office to present the next World Youth Day, which is due to be held in the Spanish capital city of Madrid in August 2011. Participating in today's presentation were Cardinal Stansilaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid and president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference; Bishop Josef Clemens, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; Bishop Cesar Franco Martinez, auxiliary of Madrid and co-ordinator general for WYD 2011, and Maria de Jaureguizar, vice director of the WYD communications department. Cardinal Rylko highlighted how "the Pope lays much emphasis on the fact that WYD should not be reduced merely to a moment of festivity. Preparation for this great event and the attention that must be given to ordinary pastoral care are an integral and decisive part thereof. The festivities and the event itself act as a kind of catalyst to facilitate an ongoing educational process. In this sense, Benedict XVI sees in WYD a prophetic response to the educational emergency of the post-modern world". In his remarks, Cardinal Rouco Varela explained that "World Youth Day is a clear invitation addressed to all Spanish society to draw near to Christ and His Church. ... If we mange to reveal the beauty of the faith, many young and not-so-young people will proudly discover or rediscover the unearned privilege of being Catholic, and the responsibility we have to transform this world of ours into a better place for everyone". WYD, he went on, "will be possible thanks to many people's help", first among them "dozens of permanent helpers and - when the crucial week of 16-21 August draws near - up to 20,000 Spanish and international volunteers". Many families of Madrid will also welcome pilgrims into their homes. From an economic point of view, "WYD is supported by a vast civic platform, made up of many small donations as well as of contributions from firms and institutions, in money and in kind, who have agreed to become patrons and to share the responsibility of organising WYD, for the benefit of the youth of the world". "I must not fail to mention", Cardinal Rouco continued, "the positive climate of collaboration which has existed since the start with the Spanish public authorities. The welcome given to WYD by the national government, the Autonomous Community of Madrid and the city authorities, was favourable and effective from the first moment". Bishop Clemens analysed the Pope's Message for WYD, noting the autobiographical references Benedict XVI includes in the text. "The Pope mentions his personal experiences on three occasions", said Bishop Clemens. "In doing so he shows - as he has during meetings with children and young people in the past - great closeness and sensibility towards the specific challenges and difficulties youth must face. His words and gestures demonstrate a sincere desire to share with young people, revealing great tact and an attentive and realistic language". "The Holy Father's first autobiographical reference begins with the experience of his own youth as a period of 'great seeking', but also of 'seeking what is great'", said Bishop Clemens. Benedict XVI speaks of the Nazi period, but his experiences are in some way "transferable to the situation of young people today who, though in a different way, also experience being 'closed' in a world where consumerism and personal relations based on interest often prevail". The second reference is to youth as a time of great decisions, and the Holy Father recalls his own decision to become a priest. "The Pope's words", the bishop said, "reflect the experience of many young people who well know that great decisions, often difficult decisions, must subsequently be re-conquered and defended. We all know the widespread difficulty of our time of taking and remaining faithful to great decisions, of committing oneself for a lifetime. It is in this context that the Pope points out the virtues ... of faithfulness and coherence, of willingness and service, as indispensable premises for an 'authentic' life". Thirdly, in his Message Benedict XVI identifies the response that will guide us throughout our lives. "A response that comes from the depths of his heart and from the experience of his long life", said Bishop Clemens. "This response is God, it is faith in Him, it is the meeting with Jesus Christ; ... the real Jesus, not the Jesus of a hypothesis or a scientific theory. As an 'existential foundation' he offers the experience of his own 'personal search for the face of the Lord', which he achieved and developed over long years of study, prayer and meditation". For his part, Bishop Cesar Franco Martinez focused his remarks on the programme and the organisational aspects of WYD. According to information collected from various episcopal conferences, he said, WYD 2011 promises to be one of the best-attended of those organised in Europe although, because of the economic crisis afflicting Spain, it will be marked by a certain sobriety. It will also be a "very Spanish" WYD because the Pontifical Council for the Laity, indicating that each WYD must be firmly rooted in its host country, has asked that there be "a special presentation of Spanish history and culture". The principal aim of WYD in Madrid is to relaunch pastoral activity among young people. "Society is witnessing a fall in religious practice among youth", the bishop explained. "The latest official information shows that among under-twenty-fives the level of religious practice is less than ten percent, while 48.1 percent of young people declare themselves as non-practicing. It is precisely them we wish to reach". On the subject of economic support, the bishop gave the names of various organisations that are supporting the event. He also explained that anyone wishing to make a contribution can visit the portal http://www.muchasgracias.info/ where they will be able to decide the quantity and purpose of their donation.OP/ VIS 20101005 (1010)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 5 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed the following persons as participants in the forthcoming Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, due to be held in the Vatican from 10 to 24 October on the theme: "The Catholic Church in the Middle East. Communion and Witness. Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul": MEMBERS - Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals.- Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, major archbishop of Kyiv-Halyc, Ukraine.- Cardinal Walter Kasper, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.- Cardinal John Patrick Foley, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. - His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, patriarch emeritus of Jerusalem of the Latins. - His Beatitude Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, major archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankars, India- Archbishop Edmond Farhat, apostolic nuncio.- Archbishop Riccardo Fontana, of Arezzo-Cortona-San Sepolcro, Italy.- Archbishop Mounged El-Hachem, apostolic nuncio.- Archbishop Cyril Vasil, S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.- Bishop Bohdan Dzyurakh, C.SS.R., auxiliary of Kyiv-Halyc, Ukraine.- Bishop Dimitrios Salachas, apostolic exarch for Greek Catholics of Byzantine Rite resident in Greece.- Bishop Bosco Puthur, curial bishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars, India.- Msgr. Archimandrite Robert L. Stern, secretary general of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA).- Msgr. Mikael Antoine Mouradian, patriarchal vicar of the Institute for the Patriarchal Clergy of Bzommar, Lebanon.- Fr. David Neuhaus, S.J., head of pastoral care for Hebrew-speaking Catholics in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem of the Latins. EXPERTS - Fr. Nicolas Antiba, archimandrite of the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church in Paris, France.- Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., president of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies in Rome.- Fr. Jean Azzam, secretary of the episcopal theological and biblical commission of the Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of Lebanon (APECL).- Fr. Hani Nasif Wasif Bakhoum Kiroulos, secretary to the Coptic Catholic Patriarch, Egypt.- Fr. Claudio Giovanni Bottini, O.F.M., dean of the Faculty of Biblical Studies and Archaeology in Jerusalem of the Pontifical "Antonianum" University.- Fr. Frans Bouwen, M. Afr., editor of the magazine "Proche‑Orient Chretien".- Msgr. Claude Bressolette, vicar general of the Ordinariate for faithful of oriental rite resident in France and without their own ordinary.- Fr. Nicola Bux, professor at the Theological Faculty of Puglia, Bari, Italy.- Fr. Jalil Canli Hadaya, O.F.M. Conv., judicial vicar of the apostolic vicariate of the Latins in Lebanon.- Fr. Elias Daw, president of the ecclesiastical court of appeal of the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church, Israel.- Martino Diez, director of research at the International Oasis Foundation, Italy.- Fr. Peter du Brul, S.J., founder of the department for religious studies at the University of Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories.- Fr. Pier Giorgio Gianazza, S.D.B., professor of theology at the Salesian Theological Institute of Jerusalem.- Fr. Rafic Edward Greiche, head of the press office of the Catholic Church in Egypt.- Fr. Gaby Hachem, C.S.P., associate professor of ecclesiology at the Faculty of Theology of "Saint-Esprit" University at Kaslik, Lebanon.- Fr. Damian Howard, S.J., professor of theology at Heythrop College of the University of London, England.- Sr. Eudoxie Kechichian, S.A.I.C., superior general of the Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Lebanon.- Fr. Antoine Louis Mouawad Khalife, O.L.M., director general of "C.H.U. Notre Dame De Secours" at Jbeil‑Byblos, Lebanon.- Msgr. Rafiq Khoury, pastor of "Bir Zeit", patriarchate of Jerusalem of the Latins.- Fr. Hanna Kildani, professor of the modern history of Christianity in the Holy Land, Jordan.- Annie Laurent, member of the Association of Catholic Notaries and of the International Union of the Francophone Press.- Fr. Philippe Luisier, S.J., professor of Coptic language and literature at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome.- Fr. Peter H. Madrous, doctor of biblical theology and biblical studies in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.- Msgr. Ermenegildo Manicardi, rector of Rome's Almo Collegio Capranica.- Fr. Frederic Manns, O.F.M., ordinary professor of the Faculty of Biblical Studies and Archaeology of the "Studium Biblicum Franciscanum" in Jerusalem.- Fr. Sameer Shaba Maroki, O.P., professor of oriental spiritual theology at Babel College, Iraq.- Fr. Paolo Martinelli, O.F.M. Cap., president of the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality at the "Antonianum" Pontifical Athenaeum in Rome.- Graziano Motta, journalist of Vatican Radio.- Sr. Telesphora Pavlou, teacher of dogmatic theology at the "Studio Teologico San Salvatore" in Jerusalem.- Fr. Paul Rouhana, O.L.M., rector of the Faculty of Theology of "Saint-Esprit" University at Kaslik, Lebanon.- Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, S.J., professor of the history of Arab culture and Islamic studies at St. Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon.- Fr. Selim Sfeir, judicial vicar of the eparchy of Cyprus of the Maronites.- Fr. Mark Sheridan, O.S.B., member of the International Association for Coptic Studies.- Msgr. Salim Soussan, vicar general of the archieparchy of Haifa and the Holy Land.- Fr. Guy Tardivy, O.P., prior of the Dominican convent of Saint-Etienne, the French biblical and archaeological school of Jerusalem.- Dietmar Werner Winkler, director of the department of biblical studies and ecclesiastical history at the University of Salzburg, Austria. AUDITORS - Fr. Faez Alfrejatt, O.B.S., monk of the convent of the Holy Saviour, Joun, Lebanon.- Hanna Almasso, member of the national team of leaders of J.O.C. Dubai, United Arab Emirates.- Msgr. Michel Aoun, episcopal vicar of the eparchy of Beirut of the Maronites, Lebanon.- Anton R. Asfar, council member of the patriarchal exarchate of Syro-Catholics of Jerusalem.- Said A. Azer, member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.- Agostino Borromeo, governor general of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.- Msgr. Philippe Brizard, director general emeritus of "L'Oeuvre d'Orient".- Tanios Chahwan, president of the National Council of the Laity in Lebanon.- Hares Chehab, secretary general of the National Committee for Islamic-Christian Dialogue, Lebanon. - Jacques F. El Kallassi, director general of "Tele Lumiere" and president of the managing board of "Noursat", Lebanon. - Amin Fahim, co-founder of the Christian Association of Upper Egypt.- Joseph Boutros Farah, president of Caritas International for the Middle East and North Africa.- Daniella Harrouk, SS.CC., superior general of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.- Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Sant'Egidio Community.- Jocelyne Khoueiry, president of the lay movement "La Libanaise‑Femme du 31 May".- Naguib Khouzam, director general of the SETI Centre ‑ Caritas Egypt.- Pilar Lara Alen, president of the Foundation for the Social Promotion of Culture.- Anan J. Lewis, professor of English poetry (Victorian and modern), at the department of English of the University of Baghdad, Iraq.- Regina Lynch, project director of Aid to the Church In Need. - Sobhy Makhoul, secretary general of the Maronite Catholic exarchate of Jerusalem, the Palestinian Territories and Jordan.- Rita Moussallem, member of the Focolari Movement.- Huda Musher, director of Caritas Jordan.- Sr. Clauda Achaya Naddaf, R.B.P. superior of the convent of Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, Damascus, Syria.- Fr. Georges Dankaye (Kevork Noradounguian), rector of the Pontifical Armenian College in Rome.- Fr. Raymond Leslie O'Toole, S.F.M., assistant to the secretary general of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC).- Fr. Rino Rossi, director of the "Domus Galilaeae", Israel.- Sr. Marie-Antoinette Saade, of the Congregation of Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family.- Epiphan Bernard Z. Sabella, associate professor of sociology at the University of Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories.- Paul Saghbini, hospitaller of the Lebanese Association of the Knights of Malta.- Rudolf Wilhelm Maria Solzbacher, member of the presidency of the "Deutsche Verein Vom Heiligen Lande".- Harald Suermann, head of the Middle Eastern section of "Missio".- Sr. Karima Tamer Hendy Awad, R.B.P., provincial superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, Egypt.- Christa Von Siemens, director of the commission for the Holy Land of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.- Husam J. Wahhab, president of Catholic Action of Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories. NA/ VIS 20101005 (1380)
IN MEMORIAM VATICAN CITY, 5 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The following prelates died recently: - Bishop Victor Adibe Chikwe of Ahiara, Nigeria, on 16 September at the age of 72. - Bishop Armindo Lopes Coelho, emeritus of Porto, Portugal, on 29 September at the age of 79. - Bishop Bernard Genoud of Lausanne, Geneve et Fribourg, Switzerland, on 21 September at the age of 68. - Bishop Jakob Mayr, former auxiliary of Salzburg, Austria, on 19 September at the age of 86. - Bishop Joseph Merhi, emeritus of Le Caire of the Maronites, Egypt, on 30 March 2006 at the age of 94. - Bishop James Edward Michaels S.S.C.M.E., former auxiliary of Wheeling-Charleston, U.S.A., on 21 September at the age of 84. - Archbishop-bishop Francis Mansour Zayek, emeritus of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, U.S.A., on 22 September at the age of 89.