DECLARATION CONCERNING ILLEGITIMATE ORDINATION IN CHINA
VATICAN CITY, 16 JUL 2011 (VIS) - At midday today the Holy See released an English-language declaration regarding the episcopal ordination of Fr. Joseph Huang Bingzhang, which took place on Thursday 14 July in the diocese of Shantou (Province of Guangdong, Mainland China). (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
"1. Fr. Joseph Huang Bingzhang, having been ordained without papal mandate and hence illicitly, has incurred the sanctions laid down by canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law. Consequently, the Holy See does not recognise him as bishop of the diocese of Shantou, and he lacks authority to govern the Catholic community of the diocese.
"Fr. Huang Bingzhang had been informed some time ago that he could not be approved by the Holy See as an episcopal candidate, inasmuch as the diocese ofShantou already has a legitimate bishop; Fr. Huang had been asked on numerous occasions not to accept episcopal ordination.
"2. From various sources the Holy See had knowledge of the fact that some bishops, contacted by the civil authorities, had expressed their unwillingness to take part in an illicit ordination and also offered various forms of resistance, yet were reportedly obliged to take part in the ordination.
"With regard to this resistance, it should be noted that it is meritorious before God and calls for appreciation on the part of the whole Church. Equal appreciation is also due to those priests, consecrated persons and members of the faithful who have defended their pastors, accompanying them by their prayers at this difficult time and sharing in their deep suffering.
"3. The Holy See reaffirms the right of Chinese Catholics to be able to act freely, following their consciences and remaining faithful to the Successor of Peter and in communion with the universal Church.
"The Holy Father, having learned of these events, once again deplores the manner in which the Church in China is being treated and hopes that the present difficulties can be overcome as soon as possible".
VATICAN CITY, 17 JUL 2011 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI appeared at the balcony overlooking the inner courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered there.
Commenting, as he does every Sunday, on that morning's Gospel reading, the Pope explained how the parables are "brief narratives which Jesus uses to announce the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven. Using images and situations taken from everyday life, the Lord wishes to show us the true foundation of all things. He shows us ... the God Who acts, Who enters our daily lives".
Using these narratives, "the divine Master invites us to recognise, first and foremost, the primacy of God the Father. Where He is not present, nothing good can exist. He is a decisive priority in all things. The Kingdom of heaven means, in fact, the lordship of God; in other words, His will must be assumed as the criterion-guide for our existence".
In today's Gospel Jesus compares heaven to a field of wheat, "in order to help us understand that something small and hidden, but possessing an irrepressible life force, is sown within us. Despite all the obstacles, the seed will develop and the fruit ripen, but the fruit will be good only if the terrain of life has been cultivated in accordance with the divine will.
"For this reason", the Pope added, "in the parable of the weeds among the wheat Christ warns us that, after the master had sown his seed, 'while everybody was asleep an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat'. The meaning of this is that we must be ready to protect the grace we received on the day of Baptism, continuing to nourish faith in the Lord, which prevents evil from taking root".
Finally, the Pope turned his attention to the first reading of this morning's Mass, a passage from the Book of Wisdom underscoring the mercy and power of God. "If, then, we are all children of such a great and good Father", he said, "let us seek to resemble Him. This was the goal Jesus set Himself with His preaching, when He told His hearers: ''Be perfect ... as your heavenly Father is perfect".
VATICAN CITY, 17 JUL 2011 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus today in the inner courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, the Pope spoke of the "deep concern with which I am following news from the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia, where a serious drought followed, in some areas, by torrential rains, has led to a humanitarian catastrophe. Countless people are fleeing terrible famine in search of food and assistance.
"I hope", he added, "that international mobilisation will increase and much-needed aid will continue to reach these our sorely tried brothers and sisters, among whom are many children. May those who suffer not lack our solidarity and the concrete support of all people of good will".
Turning then to address French-speaking pilgrims the Holy Father remarked that "the holidays are certainly a good time for cultural and spiritual enrichment. Through the many sites and monuments you visit", he told them, "you may discover the beauty of the universal heritage which binds us to our roots. Allow yourselves to be drawn by the beautiful ideal which animated the builders of cathedrals and abbeys when they created those vibrant signs of God's presence in our land. May their ideal become your own and may the Holy Spirit, which looks into the depths of the human heart, inspire you to pray in those places, giving thanks and interceding for humankind in the third millennium".
The Holy Father then greeted Polish pilgrims in Castelgandolfo, recalling how "yesterday we celebrated Our Lady of the Scapular (Our Lady of Mount Carmel). The scapular", he explained, "is a special sign of union with Jesus and Mary. For those who wear it, it is a sign of filial reliance on the protection of the Immaculate Virgin. In our battle against evil, may Mary our Mother swathe us in her mantle".
VATICAN CITY, 18 JUL 2011 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:
"This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Najib Bin Abdul Razak, prime minister of Malaysia. The pirme minister 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.
"In the cordial conversations the positive developments in bilateral relations were discussed, and an agreement was reached to establish diplomatic relations between Malaysia and the Holy See.
"In addition, the political and social situation in the world and on the Asian continent was reviewed, with particular reference to the importance of inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue for the promotion of peace, justice and greater understanding between peoples".
VATICAN CITY, 18 JUL 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Fr. Jose Manuel Garcia Cordeiro, rector of the Pontifical PortugueseCollege in Rome, as bishop of Braganca-Miranda (area 6,545, population 151,700, Catholics 149,200, priests 100, permanent deacons 4, religious 119),Portugal. The bishop-elect was born in Vila Nova de Seles, Angola in 1967 and ordained a priest in 1991. He succeeds Bishop Antonio Montes Moreira O.F.M., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Antonio Pacella, official of the "Tipografia Vaticana - Editrice L'Osservatore Romano", as head of the management office of the same organisation.
On Saturday 16 July it was made public that he appointed:
- Bishop Julio Cesar Vidal Ortiz of Monteria, Colombia, as bishop of Cucuta (area 2,200, population 848,000, Catholics 774,000, priests 140, permanent deacons 8, religious 268), Colombia.
- Fr. Fulgence Razakarivony M.S., vice secretary of the administrative secretariat of the Episcopal Conference of Madagascar, as bishop of Ihosy (area 40,900, population 400,000, Catholics 72,000, priests 34, religious 125), Madagascar. The bishop-elect was born in Betsiholany, Madagascar in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1993.
- Bishop Ruy Rendon Leal, prelate of El Salto, Mexico, as bishop of Matamoros(area 19,457, population 2,018,000, Catholics 1,782,000, priests 122, religious 129), Mexico.
- Msgr. Grzegorz Rys of the clergy of the archdiocese of Krakow, Poland, rector of the major seminary, and Fr. Damian Andrzej Muskus O.F.M., provincial secretary for formation, as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Krakow (area 5,730, population 1,601,000, Catholics 1,556,000, priests 2,089, religious 4,501). Bishop-elect Rys was born in Krakow in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1988. Bishop-elect Muskus was born in Nowa Sarzyna, Poland in 1967 and ordained a priest in 1993.