CATHOLICS AND JEWS: WITNESS TO DIGNITY OF HUMAN BEING
VATICAN CITY, 12 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received a delegation from B'nai B'rith International, ("Sons of the Covenant" in Hebrew), the oldest Jewish service organization in the world. It was initially founded in New York City in 1843. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
The Pope expressed his appreciation for B'nai B'rith's "active participation" in the meeting of the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee, held in Paris at the end of February on this 40th anniversary of dialogue between the two religions. " What has happened in these forty years must be seen as a great gift from the Lord and a reason for heartfelt gratitude towards the One who guides our steps with his infinite and eternal wisdom".
"The Paris meeting affirmed the desire of Catholics and Jews to stand together in meeting the immense challenges facing our communities in a rapidly changing world and, significantly, our shared religious duty to combat poverty, injustice, discrimination and the denial of universal human rights".
The Holy Father emphasized that "one of the most important things that we can do together is bear common witness to our deeply-held belief that every man and woman is created in the divine image and thus possessed of inviolable dignity. This conviction remains the most secure basis for every effort to defend and promote the inalienable rights of each human being".
Recalling a recent conversation between delegations of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, Benedict XVI stated that, on that occasion, "stress was laid on the need to promote a sound understanding of the role of religion in the life of our present-day societies as a corrective to a purely horizontal, and consequently truncated, vision of the human person and social coexistence".
"The life and work of all believers", he concluded, "should bear constant witness to the transcendent, point to the invisible realities which lie beyond us, and embody the conviction that a loving, compassionate Providence guides the final outcome of history, no matter how difficult and threatening the journey along the way may sometimes appear".
CARDINAL SARAH TO VISIT EARTHQUAKE-DAMAGED AREAS IN JAPAN
VATICAN CITY, 12 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" published a communique that announces that its president, Cardinal Robert Sarah, will visit - in the Pope's name - the areas affected by the earthquake that devastated Japan two months ago.
The president of "Cor Unum" - who will travel there from 13 to 16 May - "will carry Benedict XVI's embrace extended to all the family members of the victims, to all the displaced persons, and to all the volunteers who are working tirelessly on reconstruction. Caritas Japan, which went into action immediately following the disaster, continues to be the point of reference for all the assistance that the Catholic Church continues offering in rebuilding Japan's community life after this state of emergency".
"The president of 'Cor Unum'", the communique continues, "will travel to Saitama on 14 May to visit the Catholic Church's assistance centers for those who have lost their homes. Later he will go to Tokyo where, together with the Japanese bishops, he will celebrate a thanksgiving Mass for the beatification of John Paul II. On 15 May he will go to Sendai, the epicenter of the earthquake, where he will preside over Holy Mass in the cathedral.
On Monday, 16 May, he will visit two other assistance centers for displaced persons and will meet with the directors of the main charitable organizations present.
Accompanying Cardinal Sarah on this trip will be the undersecretary of 'Cor Unum', Msgr. Segundo Tejado Munoz".
VATICAN CITY, 12 MAY 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
-Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, apostolic nuncio to Greece.
- Six prelates from the Bishops' Conference of India on their ad limina visit:
- Bishop Lumen Monteiro, C.S.C., of Agartala.
- Bishop Stephen Rotluanga, C.S.C., of Aizawl,
- Bishop Vincent Kympat of Jowai,
- Bishop Victor Lyngdoh of Nongstoin,
- Bishop Andrew Marak of Tura, and
- Bishop Thomas Pulloppillil of Bongaigaon.
VATICAN CITY, 12 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father appointed Fr. Simon Ok Hyun-jin of the clergy of Kwangju as auxiliary bishop of that same archdiocese. Kwangju (area 12,596, population 3,373,315, Catholics 329,951, priests 270, religious 722), Korea. The bishop-elect was born in Kwangju, was ordained a priest in 1994, and is currently a professor at the Catholic University of Kwangju.