CARDINAL KASPER, ENVOY TO SPEYER CATHEDRAL ANNIVERSARY
VATICAN CITY, 30 SEP 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - Made public today was a Letter, written in Latin and dated from Castelgandolfo on 21 September, in which Benedict XVI appoints Cardinal Walter Kasper, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the 950th anniversary of the dedication of Speyer Cathedral in Germany, due to take place on 2 October. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
In his Letter the Pope dwells on the significance the cathedral, which was built between 1030 and 1061, has had in German history, also underlining its important role in confirming the faith of the German faithful and their union with Peter's Successor. The Holy Father likewise greets Bishop Karl-Heinz Wiesemann ofSpeyer and express the hope that the forthcoming commemoration will be a time of grace. He concludes by inviting participants in the forthcoming celebration to practise the great Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity, like the Virgin Mary to whom the cathedral is dedicated.
VATICAN CITY, 30 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. yesterday presided at Mass at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens for the feast of the patron of Vatican Radio. The Mass was concelebrated by, among others, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. and Fr. Andrzej Koprowski S.J., respectively director general and director of programmes of Vatican Radio which this year celebrates eighty years of activity.
In his homily Cardinal Bertone gave a brief overview of the history of Vatican Radio, and expressed the hope that it may continue to be "a typically ecclesiastical medium of communication; that is, attached to the Church in the same way that the vine shoot is attached to the vine which nourishes it".
Following Mass, Cardinal Bertone conferred pontifical medals on six employees of the radio "for their faithful service to the Pope and the Church", while Fr. Lombardi gave Cardinal Bertone the first copy of a two-volume work, "Eighty Years of the Radio of the Pope", which is due to be presented on 4 October.
The introduction to the work was written by Fr. Lombardi himself. "The aim of this book", he writes, "is to help people remember and understand how Vatican Radio (both as an institution and as a community of people) has accompanied the last seven pontificates with the awareness that it has a mission to accomplish, a message to spread and a duty continually to seek and find new instruments to broadcast it". Vatican Radio constantly seeks to combine "commitment to evangelisation, inculturation of the message for the various peoples of the world, and the technical know-how to make that message reach 'unto the ends of the earth'".
VATICAN CITY, 30 SEP 2011 (VIS) - On 27 September Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, addressed the sixty-sixth General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, focusing his remarks on the principal challenges facing the international community: humanitarian emergencies, lack of religious freedom and the economic crisis.
On the first of these subjects, Archbishop Mamberti recalled how "in certain parts of the world, such as the Horn of Africa, we find ourselves facing grave and dramatic humanitarian crises which cause millions of people, mostly women and children, to flee there homes, and many have fallen victim to drought, hunger and malnutrition. The Holy See wishes to renew its appeal to the international community, an appeal repeatedly voiced by Benedict XVI, to increase and support humanitarian policies in those areas".
Christians are the most persecuted religious group
The secretary for Relations with States then went on to consider the question of respect for religious freedom, which he described as "the fundamental way to build peace, to ensure recognition of human dignity and to protect the rights of man".
"Unfortunately, many situations exist in which the right to religious freedom is denied to followers of various religions. At the same time we are seeing an increase in religiously motivated intolerance, and we note that Christians are currently the religious group suffering the greatest number of persecutions on account of their faith. Lack of respect for religious freedom is a threat to security and peace", the archbishop said.
The solution to the problem lies "in a shared commitment to recognise and promote the religious freedom of each individual and each community". This requires "sincere inter-religious dialogue, promoted and practised by representatives of the various religious and supported by governments and international institutions".
Archbishop Mamberti then turned his attention to the global economic crisis. "We know that a fundamental part of the current plight is a lack of ethics in economic structures", he said. "The economy cannot function only through market self-regulation, and even less so through agreements limited to balancing the interests of the most powerful groups. It needs an ethical raison d'etre to ensure that it works for mankind. The idea of producing goods and services ... without seeking to do good - in other words, without ethics - has shown itself to be an illusion, either ingenuous or cynical, but always with fatal results. All economic decisions have moral consequences. The economy needs ethics ... focused on the person and capable of offering prospects to the new generations".
"The Holy See has repeatedly highlighted the need for fresh and profound reflection on the significance and objectives of economic activity, and for a clear-sighted revision of global financial and commercial structures in order to correct their dysfunctions and distortions. This revision of international economic rules must take place within the framework of a global model for development".
Such a model has to take account of the notion of "family of nations" so as to pay greater attention to the needs of poorer peoples. "By its nature a family is a community founded on interdependence and mutual trust. ... Its full development is based not on the supremacy of the strongest, but on care for the weakest, ... and its responsibility extends to future generations". Thus, Archbishop Mamberti concluded, "development strategies must be created which focus on people, favouring solidarity and responsibility towards everyone, including future generations".
On 26 September, the day prior to addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Archbishop Mamberti received a doctorate "honoris causa" from St. John's University in New York.
VATICAN CITY, 30 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for October is: "That the terminally ill may be supported by their faith in God and the love of their brothers and sisters".
His mission intention is: "That the celebration of World Mission Day may foster in the People of God a passion for evangelisation with the willingness to support the missions with prayer and economic aid for the poorest Churches".
VATICAN CITY, 30 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences ten prelates from the Indonesian Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archishop Vincentius Sensi of Ende.
- Bishop Silvester San of Depansar.
- Bishop Franciscus Kopong Kung of Larantuka.
- Bishop Gerulfus Kherubim Pareira S.V.D. of Maumere.
- Bishop Hubertus Leteng of Ruteng.
- Archbishop Ignatus Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta, Military Ordinary.
- Bishop Cosmas Michael Angkur O.F.M. of Bogor.
- Archishop Peter Turang of Kupang.
- Bishop Dominikus Saku of Atambua.
- Bishop Edmund Woga C.SS.R. of Weetebula.