BENEDICT XVI TALKS ABOUT HIS FORTHCOMING TRIP TO GERMANY
VATICAN CITY, 17 SEP 2011 (VIS) - During the course of the programme "Wort zum Sontag" aired today by the German ARD television network, the Holy Father addressed some words to his fellow Germans in view of his apostolic trip to the country later this week. The recording was made in Castelgandolfo some days ago.
"I am very happy to be departing for Germany in a few days' time", said the Pope. "I think with particular joy of Berlin where I will attend many meetings and, naturally, of my address to the Bundestag and the great Mass we will celebrate at the Olympic stadium.
"One of the most important moments of the visit will be in Erfurt. In that Augustinian monastery, that Augustinian church where Luther began his journey, I will have the chance to meet the representatives of the Evangelical Church inGermany. Together we will pray, hear the Word of God, reflect and discuss. We are not expecting anything sensational; indeed, the greatness of the event lies precisely in the fact that, in that place, we can reflect together, listen to the Word of God and pray. This intimate proximity will be an expression of authentic ecumenism.
"The meeting at Eichsfeld is particularly significant for me: that small strip of land which, despite all the vicissitudes of history, has remained Catholic. After that we will move on to southwest Germany and the great city of Freiburg im Breisgauwhere many meetings will take place, particularly the vigil with young people and the great Mass which concludes my trip.
"This is not religious tourism; still less is it a 'show'. Its significance is well expressed in the motto accompanying these days: 'Where God is, there lies the future'. What this means is that we must restore God to our horizon, the God Who is so often absent but of Whom we have such great need.
"You may ask me: 'But, does God exist? And if He exists does He really concern Himself with us? Can we reach Him?' It is, indeed, true that we cannot place God on the table, we cannot touch Him or pick Him up like an ordinary object. We must rediscover our capacity to perceive God, a capacity that exists within us. We can get some idea of the greatness of God in the greatness of the Cosmos. We can use the world through technology because the world is built in a rational way; and in the great rationality of the world we can get some idea of the Creator Spirit from which it comes; in the beauty of creation we can get some idea of the beauty, the greatness and the goodness of God. In Holy Scripture we hear the words of eternal life; they do not simply come from men, they come from Him and in them we hear His voice. Finally, we may also catch some glimpse of God through meeting people who have been touched by Him. I am not just thinking of the great (of Paul, Francis of Assisi or Mother Teresa), I am thinking of the many simple people about whom nobody speaks. Yet when we meet them they emanate some quality of goodness, sincerity and joy, and we know that God is there and that He also touches us. Thus, over these days, let us commit ourselves to seeing God again, to becoming people who bring the light of hope into the world, a light that comes from God and that helps us to live".
SPECIAL ENVOY FOR THE CENTENARY OF MOSCOW CATHEDRAL
VATICAN CITY, 17 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter, written in Latin and dated 2 August, in which the Pope appoints Cardinal Jozef Tomko, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the centenary of the dedication of the cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Moscow, Russian Federation. The event is due to take place on 25 September.
Cardinal Tomko will be accompanied on his mission by Fr. Viktor Jakubov, national director of the Pontifical Missionary Works for Slovakia and former spiritual director and prefect of the Queen of the Apostles inter-diocesan seminary in St. Petersburg, and by Fr. Josif Zanevsky S.D.B., pastor of the cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
VATICAN CITY, 18 SEP 2011 (VIS) - At midday today the Holy Father prayed the Angelus with faithful gathered in the internal courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo. Before the Marian prayer he dedicated some remarks to the second reading from this morning's liturgy, taken from St. Paul's Letter to the Philippians.
Benedict XVI recalled how Paul had travelled to the Greek city of Philippi some twenty years after the death and resurrection of Christ, being the first time that the Gospel reached Europe. Starting from Jerusalem, the Good News "was destined to reach all men and all peoples, to transform all cultures from within, opening them to the fundamental truth that God is love, that He became man in Jesus and that His sacrifice saved humankind from the slavery of evil, giving it an unfailing hope", the Pope said,
In his own person, St. Paul was an embodiment of the three main worlds of that time: Jewish, Greek and Roman, said the Pope. It was for this reason that "God entrusted him with the mission of carrying the Gospel from Asia Minor to Greece, and then Rome, building a bridge that would carry Christianity to the ends of the earth".
"Today we live in an age of new evangelisation. Vast horizons are opening to the announcement of the Gospel, while regions of ancient Christian tradition are called to rediscover the beauty of the faith".
The protagonists of the evangelising mission are "individuals, families and communities who agree to work in the vineyard of the Lord. ... Humble and generous workers who ask no other reward than to be able to share the mission of Jesus and of the Church. ... The Gospel has transformed the world and continues to transform it".
Benedict XVI concluded by praying to the Virgin Mary "for priestly, religious and lay vocations to arise throughout the Church, in order to serve the new evangelisation".
Pray that all children may receive an education
Following the Angelus the Holy Father addressed greetings in different languages to several pilgrim groups. He mentioned yesterday's beatification in the Italian city of Turin of Msgr. Francesco Paleari of the Society of St. Joseph Cottolengo. "Born to a humble peasant family at Pogliano Milanese in 1863, he entered the seminary when very young and, having been ordained, dedicated himself to the poor and sick in the Little House of Divine Providence. He also worked as a teacher, distinguishing himself for his cordiality and patience. Let us give thanks to God for this shining witness of His love".
Addressing French-speaking pilgrims, the Pope recalled the fact that schools are now reopening after the summer break, and he invited parents "to take the time to listen and speak to their children about their experiences. In this way", he said, "you will help them make the right decisions. Family and school are the good earth in which to sow the humankind of tomorrow". And he concluded by asking people to pray that children everywhere may receive the education to which they are entitled".
VATICAN CITY, 19 SEP 2011 (VIS) - "As part of its ancient and rich heritage, India has a long and distinguished Christian presence which has contributed to Indian society and benefited your culture in innumerable ways, enriching the lives of countless fellow citizens, not just those who are Catholic", said the Pope this morning receiving a sixth group of prelates from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India who are currently completing their "ad limina" visit. The group included bishops from the provinces of Agra, New Delhi and Bhopal, as well as from the apostolic vicariate of Nepal.
"The Church in India proclaims its faith and love to society at large, and puts these into action through a concern for all people, in every aspect of their spiritual and material lives. ... In particular, the Catholic Church is the friend of the poor. Like Christ, she welcomes without exception all who approach her to hear the divine message of peace, hope and salvation. Moreover, in obedience to the Lord, she continues to do so without regard for 'tribe and tongue and people and nation', for in Christ, we 'are one body'. It is thus imperative that the clergy, religious and catechists in your dioceses be attentive to the diverse linguistic, cultural and economic circumstances of those whom they serve.
Continuing his English-language remarks the Pope told the prelates: "You, dear brothers, must take into account the challenges that the missionary nature of the Church entails, you must always be prepared to spread the Kingdom of God and to walk in the footsteps of Christ, Who was Himself misunderstood, despised, falsely accused and Who suffered for the sake of truth. Do not be deterred when such trials arise in your own ministry, and in that of your priests and religious. Our belief in the certainty of Christ's Resurrection gives us confidence and courage to face all that may come and to press forward, building the Kingdom of God".
The Holy Father then went on to recall how local Churches in India have recently commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of John Paul II's first apostolic visit to the country. "During those memorable days, he had several notable encounters with leaders of other religious traditions. Manifesting his personal respect for his interlocutors, this blessed Pope gave an authentic witness to the value of inter-religious dialogue".
"I encourage you, dear brothers, to carry forward the Church's efforts to promote the well-being of Indian society through continued attention to the promotion of basic rights - rights shared by all humanity - and by inviting your fellow Christians and the followers of other religious traditions to take up the challenge of affirming the dignity of each and every human person. ... I pray that the followers of Christ inIndia will continue to be promoters of justice, bearers of peace, people of respectful dialogue, and lovers of the truth about God and about man".
VATICAN CITY, 19 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that at 6 p.m. on Wednesday 28 September Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, former director of the Pontifical Choir, will take possession of the diaconate of the Most Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in Via Lata, Via del Corso 45, Rome.
VATICAN CITY, 19 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences two prelates from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Leo Cornelio S.V.D. of Bhopal, India.
- Bishop Anthony Francis Sharma S.J., apostolic vicar of Nepal.
On Saturday 17 September, he received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco archbishop of Genoa, Italy and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
- Seven prelates from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Bishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto of Jullundur.
- Bishop Ignatius Lojola Mascarenhas of Simla and Chandigarh.
- Bishop Joseph Kaithathara of Gwalior.
- Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal S.V.D. of Indore.
- Bishop Gerald Almeida of Jabalpur.
- Bishop Devprasad John Ganawa S.V.D. of Jhabua.
- Bishop Arockia Sebastian Durairaj S.V.D. of Khandwa.
VATICAN CITY, 19 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Peter A.Libasci, auxiliary of the diocese of Rockville Centre, U.S.A., as bishop of Manchester (area 24,097, population 1,315,809, Catholics 309,987, priests 269, permanent deacons 52, religious 528), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born inJackson Heights, U.S.A. in 1951. He studied at St. John's University in Queensand the St. Meinrad School of Theology, and was ordained a priest in 1978. Incardinated in the diocese of Rockville Centre he worked as parochial vicar then pastor in a number of parishes before receiving episcopal ordination in 2007. He succeeds Bishop John B. McCormack, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.