Tuesday, April 24, 2012

VATICAN : POPE : MEET THE LORD IN EUCHARIST AND OTHER NEWS


FIRST COMMUNION: A FERVENT BUT SOBER FEAST OF THE FAITH 
Vatican City, 22 April 2012 (VIS) - At midday today, the third Sunday of Easter, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Regina Coeli with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square below. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA) Before the Marian prayer, the Pope dedicated some remarks to the signs the Risen Christ gave His disciples as they, "startled and terrified, thought they were seeing a ghost".
"The resurrection", the Holy Father explained, "did not cancel the signs of the crucifixion. Jesus showed the Apostles His hands and feet; in order to convince them He even asked for something to eat. ... Thanks to these very realistic signs, the disciples overcame their initial doubt and opened to the gift of the faith, a faith which enabled them to understand the things written about Christ 'in the law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms'. ... The Saviour assures us of His real presence among us through the Word and the Eucharist and, just as the disciples of Emmaus recognised Jesus in the breaking of the bread, so we too meet the Lord in the celebration of the Eucharist".
Finally the Holy Father recalled that during the period of Easter it is customary for the Church to administer First Communion to children. In this context, he exhorted pastors, parents and catechists "to prepare this feast of the faith well, with great fervour but also with sobriety".
Following the Regina Coeli the Holy Father mentioned yesterday's beatification in Mexico of Maria Ines Teresa of the Blessed Sacrament Arias Espinosa, foundress of the Poor Clare Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. "Let us give thanks to God for this exemplary figure of Mexico, a land I had the joy of visiting and which is always in my heart", he said,
Finally the Pope turned his attention to the Day of the Sacred Heart Catholic University, which is being celebrated this Sunday in Italy on the theme: "The Future of the Country in the Hearts of the Young". He said: "It is important for young people to be educated in values, over and above scientific and technical knowledge. It was for this reason that Fr. Gemelli founded the Catholic University, which I hope will remain abreast of the times but also faithful to its origins".



HOLY FATHER DENOUNCES HUMAN TRAFFICKING FOR SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ORGAN HARVESTING
Vatican City, 23 April 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father has written a message for the seventh world congress on the pastoral care of tourism, which begins today in the Mexican city of Cancun. The message is addressed to Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, and to Bishop Pedro Pablo Elizondo Cardenas L.C., prelate of Cancun-Chetumanl.
"Tourism", the Pope writes in the English-language version of his message, "like other human realities, is called to be enlightened and transformed by the Word of God. ... Tourism, together with vacations and free time, is a privileged occasion for physical and spiritual renewal; it facilitates the coming together of people from different cultural backgrounds and offers the opportunity of drawing close to nature and hence opening the way to listening and contemplation, tolerance and peace, dialogue and harmony in the midst of diversity.
"Travelling reflects our being as 'homo viator'; at the same time it evokes that other deeper and more meaningful journey that we are called to follow and which leads to our encounter with God. Travelling, which offers us the possibility of admiring the beauty of peoples, cultures and nature, can lead to God and be the occasion of an experience of faith, “for from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator”.
"On the other hand tourism, like every human reality, is not exempt from dangers or negative dimensions. We refer to evils that must be dealt with urgently since they trample upon the rights of millions of men and women, especially among the poor, minors and handicapped. Sexual tourism is one of the most abject of these deviations that devastate morally, psychologically and physically the life of so many persons and families, and sometimes whole communities. The trafficking of human beings for sexual exploitation or organ harvesting as well as the exploitation of minors, abandoned into the hands of individuals without scruples and undergoing abuse and torture, sadly happen often in the context of tourism. This should bring all who are engaged for pastoral reasons or who work in the field of tourism, and the whole international community, to increase their vigilance and to foresee and oppose such aberrations".
"I would like to highlight three areas which should receive full attention from the pastoral care of tourism. Firstly, we need shed light on this reality using the social teaching of the Church and promote a culture of ethical and responsible tourism, in such a way that it will respect the dignity of persons and of peoples, be open to all, be just, sustainable and ecological. The enjoyment of free time and regular vacations are an opportunity as well as a right. The Church, within its own sphere of competence, is committed to continue offering its cooperation, so that this right will become a reality for all people, especially for less fortunate communities.
"Secondly, our pastoral action should never loose sight of the 'via pulchritudinis', “the way of beauty”. Many of the manifestations of the historical and cultural religious patrimony are “authentic ways to God, Supreme Beauty. ... It is important to welcome tourists and offer them well-organised visits, with due respect for sacred places and the liturgical action, for which many of these works came into being and which continues to be their main purpose.
"Thirdly, pastoral activity in the area of tourism should care for Christians as they enjoy their vacations and free time in such a way that these will contribute to their human and spiritual growth. Truly this is “an appropriate moment to let the body relax ... in order to grow in personal relationship with Christ”".
"The new evangelisation, to which all are called, requires us to keep in mind and to make good use of the many occasions that tourism offers us to put forward Christ as the supreme response to modern man’s fundamental questions".


POPE RECALLS HISTORIC ROLE OF WOMEN IN BUILDING THE CHURCH IN AMERICA
Vatican City, 21 April 2012 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI received members of the Papal Foundation on their annual visit to Rome. The agency is a Catholic association founded in Philadelphia, U.S.A., in 1990 by the now-deceased Cardinal John Krol, which every year finances the needs of the Church around the world.
Speaking to the group in English, the Pope thanked them for their support for "a wide variety of apostolates". He also noted that later this year he will canonise two new saints from North America, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha and Blessed Mother Marianne Cope, "striking examples of sanctity and heroic charity" who "also remind us of the historic role played by women in the building up of the Church in America. By their example and intercession, may all of you be confirmed in the pursuit of holiness and in your efforts to contribute to the growth of God’s Kingdom in the hearts of people today".
"In these days I ask your continued prayers for the needs of the universal Church and in particular for the freedom of Christians to proclaim the Gospel and bring its light to the urgent moral issues of our time", the Pope concluded.


MEETING ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CHINA
Vatican City, 21 April 2012 (VIS) - The commission established by Benedict XVI in 2007 to study questions of importance concerning the life of the Catholic Church in China is meeting in the Vatican today. The commission includes superiors of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia with responsibility in this area, as well as certain representatives of the Chinese episcopate and of religious congregations.
A communique released by the Holy See Press Office notes that, while previous meetings have examined the formation of seminarians, consecrated persons and priests, this year the focus will be on the formation of the lay faithful in the light of the situation of the Catholic community in China, and in the context of the "Year of Faith" which will be celebrated by the entire Church from 11 October 2012 to 23 November 2013. Attention will also be given to progress made in the field of forming priests, consecrated persons and seminarians, and to what remains to be done to ensure they are adequately prepared for the service they are called to offer, within the Church and for the good of society. The meeting of the commission is due to end on 25 April.




CONCERT BY THE GEWANDHAUS ORCHESTRA FOR THE POPE'S BIRTHDAY
Vatican City, 21 April 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday in the Paul VI Hall the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, Germany, conducted by Riccardo Chailly, performed Symphony No. 2 "Lobgesang" by Felix Mendelssohn as a tribute to Benedict XVI for his eighty-fifth birthday. The concert took place under the patronage of the Free State of Saxony and the city of Leipzig.
Following the performance, and having first expressed his thanks to the musicians and organisers, the Holy Father recalled how Mendelssohn had composed the symphony to mark the fourth centenary of the invention of printing, and that it was first performed at the Thomaskirche of Leipzig (the church of Johann Sebastian Bach) on 25 January 1840. The conductor on that occasion had been Mendelssohn himself, the long-time director of the Gewandhaus Orchestra.
"Art as praise of God, supreme Beauty", the Pope said, "lies at the root of the way that Mendelssohn composed, not just as regards liturgical or sacred music, but his entire oeuvre. ... For him, sacred music was not at a higher level than any other kind; each in its own way had to serve and honour God".
The Holy Father concluded by quoting the words written by Robert Schumann after having attended the first performance of the "Lobgesang": "Let us - as the text so splendidly set to music by the maestro says - 'lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light'".





CELEBRATIONS TO BE PRESIDED BY THE HOLY FATHER BETWEEN APRIL AND JUNE
Vatican City, 23 April 2012 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today published the calendar of celebrations due to be presided by the Holy Father between April and June.
APRIL
Sunday 29: Fourth Sunday of Easter. Priestly ordinations at 9 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica.
MAY
Sunday 13: Sixth Sunday of Easter. Pastoral visit to the Italian towns of Arezzo, La Verna and San Sepolcro.
Sunday 27: Solemnity of Pentecost. Mass at 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica.
JUNE
Friday 1 to Sunday 3: Pastoral visit to Milan for the World Meeting of Families.
Thursday 7: Solemnity of Corpus Christi. At 7 p.m., Mass in the basilica of St. John Lateran, procession to the basilica of St. Mary Major and Eucharistic blessing.
Friday 29: Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles. Mass at 9 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica. Blessing and imposition of the pallium on new metropolitan archbishops.

AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 23 April 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
- Nine prelates of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Roger Lawrence Schwietz O.M.I. of Anchorage.
- Bishop Donald J. Kettler of Fairbanks.
- Bishop Edward James Burns of Juneau.
- Archbishop James Peter Sartain of Seattle, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio L. Elizondo M.Sp.S. and by Archbishop emeritus Alexander J, Brunett.
- Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane.
- Bishop Joseph Jude Tyson of Yakima, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Carlos Arthur Sevilla S.J.
On Saturday 21 April he received in audience:
- Fourteen prelates of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Bishop William Joseph Justice and Bishop Robert Walter McElroy, auxiliaries of San Francisco, accompanied by Bishop Ignatius Chung Wang, former auxiliary, and by Archbishop emeritus John Raphael Quinn.
- Bishop Clarence R. Silva of Honolulu.
- Bishop Joseph Anthony Pepe of Las Vegas.
- Bishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone of Oakland.
- Bishop Randolph Roque Calvo of Reno.
- Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, accompanied by Bishop emeritus William Keith Weigand.
- John Charles Wester of Salt Lake City.
- Bishop Patrick Joseph McGrath of San Jose in California.
- Bishop Robert Francis Vasa of Santa Rosa, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Daniel Francis Walsh.
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 21 April 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed the following cardinals, created in the consistory of 18 February as members of dicasteries and offices of the Roman Curia:
1. Cardinal George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars, India; Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, and Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, as members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
2. Cardinal George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars, India; Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, archbishop of New York, U.S.A.; Cardinal Lucian Muresan, major archbishop of Fagaras and Alba Julia of the Romanians, Romania; Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, and Cardinal Edwin Frederick O'Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, as members of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
3. Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, as member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
4. Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, penitentiary major, and Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Mary Major, as members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
5. Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, penitentiary major; Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Mary Major; Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State, and Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, as members of the Congregation for Bishops.
6. Cardinal John Tong Hon, bishop of Hong Kong, China; Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Mary Major; Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State, and Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, as members of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
7. Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht, Netherlands, and Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, as members of the Congregation for the Clergy.
8. Cardinal Dominik Jaroslav Duka O.P., archbishop of Prague, Czech Republic, and Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, as members of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
9. Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins, archbishop of Toronto, Canada; Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht, Netherlands; Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, archbishop of Florence, Italy; Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, archbishop of Berlin, Germany; Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples; Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and Cardinal Edwin Frederick O'Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, as members of the Congregation for Catholic Education.
10. Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, and Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, as members of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
11. Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, as member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
12. Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, archbishop of Berlin, Germany, and Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, as members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
13. Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, as member of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
14. Cardinal Dominik Jaroslav Duka O.P., archbishop of Prague, Czech Republic, and Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State, as members of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
15. Cardinal Edwin Frederick O'Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, as member of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".
16. Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, penitentiary major, as member of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.
17. Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, as member of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care.
18. Cardinal John Tong Hon, bishop of Hong Kong, China, as member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.
19. Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, archbishop of Florence, Italy, as member of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
20. Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins, archbishop of Toronto, Canada, and Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, archbishop of New York, U.S.A., as members of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
21. Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, archbishop of New York, U.S.A., as member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.
22. Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, as member of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.
On Saturday 21 April it was also made public that the Holy Father appointed:
- As members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Italy, and Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Lorenzo Balisseri, secretary of the Congregation for Bishops, as a consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
- Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, as member of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State.
- Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the millennium of the foundation of the Holy Hermitage of Camaldoli, Italy, due to take place on 19 June.

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