INTENSE PARTICIPATION IN THE MYSTERIES OF CHRISTMASTIME
VATICAN CITY, 5 JAN 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - In his first general audience of 2011, celebrated this morning in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope spoke on the subject of Christmas which, he said, "continues to fascinate today as in the past, ... because everyone in one way or another is intuitively aware that the birth of Jesus concerns man's most profound aspirations and hopes".
"In the liturgical celebrations of these holy days we have experienced, in a way that is mysterious yet real, the Son of God's entry into the world, and we have once again been illuminated by the light of His splendour. Each celebration is the real presence of the mystery of Christ and a prolongation of the history of salvation".
"Celebrating the events of the incarnation of the Son of God does not simply mean a recollection of past events", said the Holy Father, "it means causing the salvific mysteries to be present. In the liturgy, in the celebration of the Sacraments those mysteries become real, they become effective for us today".
"Christmas represents the first fruit of the 'sacramentum-mysterium paschale' - in other words, the beginning of the central mystery of salvation which culminates in the passion, death and resurrection - because Jesus began the giving of Himself for love from the very first instant of His human existence, in the womb of the Virgin Mary. ... The nativity scene, as an image of the incarnation of the Word, in the light of the Gospel account, already alludes to Easter".
"Incarnation and Easter are not adjacent to one another, yet they are the two key inseparable points of the one faith in Jesus Christ, Son of God Incarnate and Redeemer. The Cross and the Resurrection presuppose the Incarnation. ... In this unitary vision of the Mystery of Christ, visiting the nativity scene leads us to visiting the Eucharist where we encounter the real presence of the crucified and risen Christ, the living Christ.
"The liturgical celebration of Christmas, then, is not just a recollection, but above all a mystery", Pope Benedict added, "it is not just a memory but also a presence. To understand the meaning of these two inseparable aspects, it is important to live the Christmas period intensely, as the Church presents it".
"It is necessary to liberate this Christmas period from an overly moralistic and sentimental wrapping. The celebration of Christmas does not only present us with examples to imitate, such as the humility and poverty of the Lord, His benevolence and love for mankind; rather it is an invitation to let oneself be transformed totally by the One Who entered our flesh".
"The aim of God becoming manifest was that we might participate in divine life, and that the mystery of His incarnation might be realised in us. This mystery is the fulfilment of man's vocation", said the Holy Father.
He concluded his catechesis by inviting people to "live this Christmas period with intensity. After having adored the Son of God made man lying in the manger, we are called to move on to the altar of the sacrifice where Christ, the living Bread Who descended from heaven, offers Himself to us as true nourishment for eternal life. We have seen this with our own eyes, at the table of the Word and the Bread of Life, we have contemplated it and touched it with our hands: the Word made flesh. Let us announce it joyfully to the world and bear generous witness to it with all our lives".
VATICAN CITY, 5 JAN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Warszawa-Praga, Poland, presented by Bishop Stanislaw Kedziora, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Msgr. Andrew Jagaye Karnley of the clergy of the archdiocese of Monrovia, Liberia, former apostolic administrator "sede vacante", as bishop of Cape Palmas (area 31,760, population 432,000, Catholics 35,000, priests 13, religious 18), Liberia. The bishop-elect was born in Jawejeh, Liberia in 1967 and ordained a priest in 1995.
- Appointed Msgr. Geremias Steinmetz of the clergy of the diocese of Palmas - Francisco Beltrao, Brazil, vicar general, as bishop of Paranavai (area 8,699, population 252,000, Catholics 214,500, priests 43, religious 78), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Sulina, Brazil in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1991.
- Appointed Msgr. Laurent Dognin of the clergy of the diocese of Nanterre, France, vicar general, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Bordeaux (area 10,000, population 1,376,000, Catholics 1,097,000, priests 237, permanent deacons 17, religious 456), France. The bishop-elect was born in Paris, France in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1980.
- Appointed Archbishop Luigi Travaglino, apostolic nuncio, as permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations Organisations for Food and Agriculture (FAO, IFAD and WFP).
- Appointed Msgr. Segundo Tejado Munoz, official of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", as under secretary of the same dicastery.
- Appointed Miguel A. L. Nicolelis, professor of neurosciences at Duke University in Durham, U.S.A., as an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
- Appointed as members of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care: Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia; Cardinal Jean‑Baptiste Pham Minh Man, archbishop of Than-Pho Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, Poland; Archbishop Bernard Blasius Moras of Bangalore, India; Bishop Patricio H. Alo of Mati, Philippines; Bishop Rafael Palmero Ramos of Orihuela‑Alicante, Spain; Stefan Regmunt, Bishop of Zielona Gora‑Gorzow, Poland; Bishop Luis Artemio Flores Calzada of Valle de Chalco, Mexico; Fr. Renato Salvatore M.I., superior general of the Clerks Regular Ministers to the Sick; Br. Donatus Forkan O.H., prior general of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God; Br. Mario Bonora P.S.D.P., president of the hospital "Sacro Cuore Don Calabria" of Negrar, Verona, and national president of the Association of Social-Healthcare Institutes ‑ Aris, Italy; Sr. Maria Maurizia Giovanna Biancucci R.S.V., superior general of the Benedictine Congregation of the Reparatrix Sisters of the Holy Face of Our Lord Jesus Christ; Sr. Maria Luisa Colombo S.D.C., of the Sisters of Charity of St. Jeanne-Antide Thouret; Gian Carlo Cesana, member of the academic committee of the "Scuola di Direzione in Sanita" of the Italian region of Lombardy; Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Sant'Egidio Community; Jose Maria Simon Castellvi, president of the International Federation of the Association of Catholic Media ‑ F.I.A.M.C., Spain; Piero Uroda, president of the International Federation of Catholic Pharmacists ‑ F.I.P.C., Italy, and Marylee J. Meehan, president of the International Catholic Committee of Nurses and Medical-Social Assistants ‑ C.I.C.I.A.M.S., U.S.A.
- Appointed as consultors of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care: Archbishop‑Bishop Domenico Calcagno, secretary of APSA and president of FAS, Vatican City; Archbishop Piergiuseppe Vacchelli, adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and president of the Pontifical Missionary Works; Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Archbishop‑Bishop Peter Liu Cheng-Chung of Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Bishop Jean Laffitte, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family; Msgr. Livio Melina, president of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family; Msgr. Andrea Pio Cristiani, founder of the "Shalom" Movement, Italy; Msgr. Krzysztof Jozef Nykiel, official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Msgr. Jacques Suaudeau, official of the Pontifical Academy for Life; Fr. Pierre Jean Welsch, ecclesiastical assistant of the International Federation of Catholic Pharmacists ‑ F.I.P.C., Belgium; Fr. Maurizio Pietro Faggioni O.F.M., international ecclesiastical assistant of the International Federation of the Associations of Catholic Doctors ‑ F.I.A.M.C., Italy; Domenico Arduini, director of the obstetric and gynaecological clinic of Rome's University of Tor Vergata; Filippo Maria Boscia, president of the "Societa Italiana per la Bioetica e i Comitati Etici" ‑ S.I.B.C.E.; Vincenzo Buonomo, dean of the faculty of civil Law at Rome's Pontifical Lateran University; Christoph von Ritter, director of the "Romed Klinik Prien Am Chiemsee", Germany; John M. Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Centre of Philadelphia, U.S.A.; Jean‑Marie Le Mene, president of the "Fondation Jerome Lejeune" of Paris, France; Massimo Petrini, ordinary professor and vice president of "Camillianum" International Institute of Healthcare Theology, Italy; Jacek Rysz, professor at the faculty of medicine at the University of Lodz, Poland; Roberto Sega, director of general medicine at the hospital of Vimercate, Italy; Antonio G. Spagnolo, director of the institute of bioethics at Rome's Sacred Heart Catholic University; Stanislaw Szczepan Gozdz, director of the oncological hospital of Kielce, Poland; Mario R. Angi, head of preventative ophthalmology at the University of Padua, Italy; Marco Bregni, director of the cancer treatment unit at the hospital of S. Giuseppe in Milan, Italy; Daniel A. Cabezas Gomez, psychiatrist at Rome's "Fatebenefratelli" hospital; Augusto Mosca, medical director at the urological department of Rome's CTO hospital; Fabio Rodia, under director of the second orthopaedic division of Rome's CTO hospital; Kuo‑Inn Tsou, president of the faculty of medicine at the Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei, Taiwan, and Rosa Merola, psychologist at Rome's Rebibbia prison.
- Appointed as members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation: Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna, Austria; Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, Italy; Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia; Cardinal Josip Bozanic, archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia; Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Monterrey, Mexico; Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops; Coadjutor Archbishop Pierre‑Marie Carre of Montpellier, France; Archbishop Timothy Michael Dolan of New York, U.S.A.; Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany; Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti‑Vasto, Italy; Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, England; Archbishop Andre‑Mutien Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium; Bishop Adolfo Gonzalez Montes of Almeria, Spain, and Bishop Vincenzo Paglia of Terni‑Narni‑Amelia, Italy.
VATICAN CITY, 5 JAN 2011 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:
- Archbishop John Bukovsky S.V.D., apostolic nuncio, on 18 December at the age of 86.
- Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, apostolic nuncio, on 25 December at the age of 77.
- Archbishop Giovanni Ferrofino, apostolic nuncio, on 20 December at the age of 98.
- Archbishop Francois Gayot S.M.M., emeritus of Cap-Haitien, Haiti, on 16 December at the age of 83.
- Bishop Joseph Angelo Grech of Sandhurst, Australia, on 28 December at the age of 62.
- Archbishop Jorge Mayer, emeritus of Bahia Blanca, Argentina, on 25 December at the age of 95.
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