Archive Vatican July 2011





VATICAN CITY, 19 JUN 2011 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI travelled by helicopter from the Vatican to the Republic of San Marino where, at 10 a .m., he presided at Mass in the Serravalle Stadium.



  Beginning his homily, the Holy Father affirmed that today's feast of the Blessed Trinity is "the feast of God, of the very centre of our faith. ... The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one, because God is love and love is the ultimate life-giving power. The unity created by love is greater than purely physical unity", he said.



  Commenting on today's reading from the Gospel of St. John - "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life" - the Pope explained that "the world is full of evil, selfishness and wickedness, and God could come to judge this world, to destroy evil and punish the wicked. However, in fact, He shows that He loves the world, that He loves man despite his sins; and He sent what was most precious to Him, His only-begotten Son. Indeed, not only did He send Him, but made of Him a gift to the world".



  "Faith in this Trinitarian God has also characterised the Church of San Marino-Montefeltro through the course of her long and glorious history", Pope Benedict went on. "The evangelisation of this land is attributed to Sts. Marinus and Leo who, in the middle of the third century, are said to have come to Rimini from Dalmatia . ... With their faith in the God Who revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, they brought new perspectives and new values to this locality, leading to the birth of a culture and civilisation founded on the human person, made in God's image and hence possessor of rights that have precedence over any human legislation".



  Benedict XVI highlighted how, "apart from the faith, we must also recall the absolute faithfulness to the Bishop of Rome, to whom this Church has always shown devotion and affection". In the same context he also mentioned the attention shown by the Church in San Marino "towards the great tradition of the Oriental Church , and her profound devotion for the Virgin Mary".



  Turning to address the faithful, the Pope said: "You are called to carry this precious legacy forward at one of the most decisive moments of history", in the face of "profound and rapid cultural, social, economic and political transformations which have opened new horizons and altered mentalities, customs and sensibilities".



  "An insidious temptation has led to the belief that man's richness lies not in faith but in his personal and social power, his intelligence, his culture and his ability to manipulate reality scientifically, technologically and socially. Thus, even in these lands, faith and Christian values are beginning to be substituted with a supposed wealth which, in the final analysis, shows itself to be inconsistent and incapable of bearing the weight of that great promise of truth, goodness and beauty which for centuries your forebears identified with the experience of the faith".



  The Holy Father also referred to "the crisis many families have to face", a crisis "aggravated by the widespread psychological and spiritual frailty of spouses, and the fatigue experienced by many educators as they seek continuity for young people who are conditioned by many forms insecurity, first and foremost as regards their social role and employment possibilities".



  "I exhort all the faithful to be a leaven in the world", the Pope concluded. "In both San Marino and Montefeltro, show yourselves to be Christians, present, active and coherent. May priests and religious always live in cordial and effective ecclesial communion, helping and listening to their diocesan pastor. I appeal to families and young people to open their hearts and respond readily to the Lord's call. We will never repent of having been generous with God! I ask you lay men and women to commit yourselves actively in the community so that, alongside your specific civic, political, social and cultural tasks, you may find time for the life of faith, the pastoral life".


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VATICAN CITY, 19 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Following this morning's Mass and before praying the Angelus, the Pope thanked everyone who had helped prepare and organise his visit to San Marino .



  After the Marian prayer he mentioned the beatification today in the French town of Dax of Sr. Marguerite Rutan, a professed sister of the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity. The blessed lived in the second half of the eighteenth century and had worked in the hospital of Dax . During the persecutions that followed the French Revolution "she was condemned to death for her Catholic faith and her faithfulness to the Church", said Benedict XVI, highlighting also how Sr. Marguerite had been "a shining witness of Christ's love for the poor".



  Finally the Holy Father recalled the fact that tomorrow marks World Refugee Day, which this year coincides with the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the international convention safeguarding people who suffer persecution and are forced to flee their country. "I invite the civil authorities and all people of good will to ensure refugees are welcomed and given dignified living conditions as they await the chance to return freely and safely to their own countries", he concluded.


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VATICAN CITY, 19 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Today at 4.15 p.m. Benedict XVI travelled to Piazza della Liberta in San Marino where he was greeted by the Captains Regent of the republic, Maria Luisa Berti and Filippo Tamagnini.



  After the playing of the pontifical hymn and the national anthem of San Marino , the Pope, accompanied by the Captains Regent, entered the Palazzo Pubblico where he was greeted by the ministers of the republic. He then held a private meeting with the Captains Regent. Subsequently, in the Hall of the Grand and General Council, the Holy Father delivered an address before members of the government, the congress and the diplomatic corps.



  Benedict XVI began by reflecting on the origins of the community which came into being seventeen centuries ago around the deacon Marinus, a great preacher of the Gospel. He highlighted how, throughout their history, the inhabitants of the republic that bears the saint's name "have always remained faithful to the values of the Christian faith, which has been a firm foundation for their peaceful coexistence in keeping with criteria of democracy and solidarity".



  The Pope praised the Sammarineses' adherence to this "legacy of values" and encouraged them "to conserve and take advantage of it, so that it becomes the foundation of your deepest identity. ... Thanks to this identity you can build a society attentive to the true good of human beings, to their dignity and freedom, a society capable of safeguarding the rights of all people to live in peace. These are the advantages of healthy secularism, within which the institutions of civil society must act in their constant commitment to defend the common good.



  "The Church", he added, "respectful of the legitimate autonomy of the civil authorities, collaborates with them in the service of man, defending his fundamental rights and the ethical norms which are inscribed in his very nature. For this reason the Church is committed to ensuring that legislative authorities always promote and protect human life, from conception to natural end. She also asks that families receive due recognition and effective support".



  The Holy Father went on: "We well know how the institution of the family is currently being called into question, almost in an attempt to deny its irreplaceable value. The consequences of this fall on the weakest sectors of society, especially the young who are more vulnerable and therefore more easily exposed to disorientation, to situations of self-marginalisation and to the slavery of dependency. Educational institutions sometimes struggle to find adequate responses for the young who, as the support of the family falls away, often find that a normal insertion into the fabric of society is denied them".



  The Pope then turned his attention to the economic crisis, which is also affecting San Marino following years in which trade and tourism had brought some degree of prosperity. He also mentioned the issue of people who live on one side of the border and work on the other, expressing the hope that it could be resolved "while bearing in mind the right to work and the protection of families". The current situation "is a stimulus to reconsider our progress and an occasion for discernment", he said. "It puts the whole of society before the pressing need to face problems with courage and a sense of responsibility, with generosity and dedication, drawing on that love of freedom which characterises your people".



  "You", Benedict XVI told the authorities present, "have the task of constituting the earthly city, with due autonomy and with respect for those human and spiritual principles to which individual citizens are called to adhere in their own consciences. At the same time, you have the duty to continue to work actively to build a community founded on shared values".



  Having completed his address, the Holy Father, accompanied by the Captains Regent, visited the basilica of San Marino where he was welcomed by the rector, Msgr. Lino Tosi. After pausing in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and venerating the relics of St. Marinus, the Pope left the building and travelled to the heliport of Torraccia where he bid farewell to the State authorities. He then travelled by helicopter to the sports ground of Pennabilli , Italy , where he was due to meet with young people from the diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro.


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VATICAN CITY, 19 JUN 2011 (VIS) - At 6.45 p.m. today the Pope arrived by helicopter at the sports ground in the Italian town of Pennabilli . Having been welcomed by the civil authorities, he travelled to the cathedral where he prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. The Holy Father then moved on to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele where he met with young people from the diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro.



  Following some words of greeting pronounced by Bishop Luigi Negri of San Marino-Montefeltro, and by one of the young people present, Benedict XVI delivered his address.



  Referring to the Gospel episode in which a rich young man asks "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?", the Pope said: "Perhaps we would not speak like this today, but the precise meaning of the question is this: what must I do, how must I live in order to live truly, in order to find life?"



  "It is precisely by looking into ourselves with truth, sincerity and courage that we gain some intuition of the beauty of life, but also of its precariousness, and we feel a sense of dissatisfaction and disquiet which nothing tangible can fill", he said.



  Benedict XVI invited his youthful audience not to be afraid to "ask yourselves the fundamental questions about the meaning and value of life. Do not be content with partial and immediate responses, which are certainly easier and more comfortable in the short term, which can give a moment or two of happiness and exaltation but which cannot bring you to the true joy of living, the joy that comes to those who build - as Jesus says - not upon sand but upon solid rock. Learn, then, to reflect upon and to read your human experience, not superficially but in depth. With wonder and joy you will discover that your heart is a window open to infinity!"



  "Even in the era of scientific and technological progress (which has given us so much) man still desires more, he desires more than just comfort and wellbeing. He remains open to the entire truth of his existence, which cannot be limited to material things but is open to a much broader horizon".



  The Holy Father warned young people against the risk "of becoming imprisoned in the material world, in the immediate, the relative, the useful; of losing sensibility towards things that concern our spiritual dimension. This does not mean despising the use of reason or rejecting scientific progress; quite the contrary, it means understanding that each of us has not only a 'horizontal' but also a 'vertical' dimension. Science and technology cannot replace the world of life, our horizons of meaning and freedom, the richness of relationships of friendship and of love".



  "In Christ you can find the answers to the questions that accompany your journey, not in a superficial or facile way but walking and living with Jesus. The meeting with Christ is not limited to embracing a doctrine or a philosophy; what He proposes is sharing His very life and thus learning to live, learning who man is, who I am".



  The Pope encouraged the young people "not to be afraid to face difficult situations, moments of crisis or the trials of life, because the Lord accompanies you, He is with you. I encourage you to grow in friendship with Him through frequent reading of the Gospel and of all Sacred Scripture, faithful participation in the Eucharist as a personal meeting with Christ, committed efforts within the ecclesial community, and following a good spiritual guide".



  "Allow the mystery of Christ to illuminate your entire being! Then will you be able to bring others to this novelty which can change relations, institutions and structures, and so build a more just and united world animated by the search for the common good".



  At the end of his meeting with young people, the Pope travelled back the Pennabilli sports ground where he boarded his helicopter to return to the Vatican .


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VATICAN CITY, 18 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter, written in Latin and dated 11 May, in which the Pope appoints Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education as his special envoy to the celebration of the sixth centenary of the dedication of the cathedral of Wloclawek, Poland, due to take place on 26 June.



  Cardinal Grocholewski will be accompanied on his mission by Msgr. Grzegorz Karolak, pastor of the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in Chiechocienk, member of the presbyteral council and honorary canon of the cathedral chapter of Wloclawek, and by Msgr. Artur Niemira, chancellor of the diocesan curia, professor at the major seminary, member of the presbyteral council and of the college of consultors and president of the organising committee for the Jubilee of the cathedral of Wloclawek.


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VATICAN CITY, 18 JUN 2011 ( VIS ) - The Holy Father:



 - Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, apostolic nuncio to Singapore and East Timor, apostolic delegate to Malaysia and to Brunei, and non-residential pontifical representative for Vietnam, also as apostolic nuncio to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).



 - Msgr. Miguel Delgado Galindo, bureau chief at the Pontifical Council for the Laity, as under secretary of the same dicastery.



 - Fr. Wolfgang Ipolt of the clergy of the diocese of Erfurt, Germany, canon of the cathedral chapter and rector of the major regional seminary, as bishop of Gorlitz (area 9,700, population 715,500, Catholics 28,816, priests 54, permanent deacons 5, religious 76), Germany. The bishop-elect was born in Gotha , Germany in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1979.


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VATICAN CITY, 18 JUN 2011 ( VIS ) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:



  - Bishop Rene Audet, emeritus of Joliette , Canada , on 12 June at the age of 91.



  - Bishop Robert de Chevigny C.S.Sp., emeritus of Nouakchott , Mauritania , on 11 June at the age of 90.



  - Bishop Michael Ambrose Griffiths O.S.B., emeritus of Hexham and Newcastle , England , on 14 June at the age of 82.



  - Bishop Joseph Nguyen Tich Duc, emeritus of Ban Me Thuot , Vietnam , on 23 May at the age of 73.



  - Bishop Raul Marcelo Pacifico Scozzina, emeritus of Formosa , Argentina , on 11 June at the age of 89.


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VATICAN CITY, 14 JAN 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Pope received Gianni Alemanno, mayor of the City of Rome; Renata Polverini, president of the Region of Lazio, and Nicola Zingaretti, president of the Province of Rome, each accompanied by an entourage, for the traditional exchange of New Year greetings.


 Speaking on the subject of the family, which he described as the "the primary cell of society, ... founded on marriage between a man and a woman", the Pope noted how "it is in the family that children learn the human and Christian values which enable constructive and peaceful coexistence. It is in the family that we learn solidarity between generations, respect for rules, forgiveness and acceptance of others". In this context he also noted how "the family must, then, be supported by policies ... which aim at its consolidation and development, accompanied by appropriate educational efforts".


 "The approval of forms of union which pervert the essence and goal of the family ends up penalising those people who, not without effort, seek to maintain stable emotional ties which are juridically guaranteed and publicly recognised. In this context, the Church looks with favour upon all initiatives which seek to educate young people to experience love as a giving of self, with an exalted and oblational view of sexuality. To this end the various components of society must agree on the objectives of education, in order for human love not to be reduced to an article of consumption, but to be seen and lived as a fundamental experience which gives existence meaning and a goal".


 Noting then that many couples desire to have children "but are forced to wait", the Holy Father emphasised the importance "of giving concrete support to maternity, and of guaranteeing working women the chance to conciliate the demands of family and work".


 "Since 'openness to life is at the centre of true development' the large number of abortions that take place in our region cannot leave us indifferent", the Pope warned. "The Christian community, through its many care homes, pro-life centres and similar initiatives, is committed to accompanying and supporting women who encounter difficulties in welcoming a new life. Public institutions must also offer their support so that family consultancies are in a position to help women overcome the causes that may lead them to interrupt their pregnancy".


 Benedict XVI then went on to explain how "the ageing population raises new problems. ... Although many old people can reply on the support and care of their own families, growing numbers are alone and have need of medical and healthcare assistance". In this context he also expressed his joy at the collaboration that exists "with the great Catholic healthcare institutions such as, for example, in the field of paediatrics, the 'Bambino Gesu' hospital. I hope these structures may continue to collaborate with local organisations in order to guarantee their services to everyone who needs them, at the same time renewing my call to promote a culture of respect for life until its natural end".


  On the subject of the economic crisis, the Pope highlighted how "parishes in the diocese of Rome are, through Caritas, making prodigious efforts" to help suffering families. "I trust that adequate measures in support of low-income families may be adopted, especially for large families with are too often penalised", he said


 The Holy Father noted how unemployment affects above all young people who, following years of education and training, cannot find professional openings. "They often feel disillusioned and are tempted to reject society itself. The persistence of such situations causes social tensions which are exploited by criminal organisations to further their illegal activities. For this reason", he concluded, "it is vital, even in this difficult time, to make every effort to promote policies that favour employment and dignified assistance, which is indispensable in order to give life to new families".


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VATICAN CITY, 14 JAN 2011 (VIS) - On 1 May, the second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, Benedict XVI will preside at the rite of beatification for John Paul II in the Vatican.


 According to a note released by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, "today 24 January, Benedict XVI, during an audience granted to Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, authorised the dicastery to promulgate the decree of the miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Servant of God John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla). This concludes the process which precedes the rite of beatification.


 "It is well known that, by pontifical dispensation, his cause began before the end of the five-year period which the current norms stipulate must pass following the death of a Servant of God. This provision was solicited by the great fame of sanctity which Pope John Paul II enjoyed during his life, in his death and after his death. In all other ways, the normal canonical dispositions concerning causes of beatification and canonisation were observed in full.


  "Between June 2005 and April 2007 the principal diocesan investigation was held in Rome , accompanied by secondary investigations in various other dioceses, on his life, virtues, fame of sanctity and miracles. The juridical validity of these canonical processes was recognised by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints with a decree of 4 May 2007. In June 2009, having examined the relative 'Positio', nine of the dicastery's theological consultors expressed their positive judgement concerning the heroic nature of the virtues of the Servant of God. The following November, in keeping with the usual procedure, the 'Positio' was submitted for the judgement of the cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who gave their approval.


 "On 19 December 2009, Benedict XVI authorised the promulgation of the decree on John Paul II's heroic virtues.



 "With a view to the beatification of the Venerable Servant of God, the postulator of the cause invited the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to examine the recovery from Parkinson's disease of Sr. Marie Simon Pierre Normand, a religious of the 'Institut des Petites Soeurs des Maternites Catholiques'.


 "As is customary, the voluminous acts of the regularly-instituted canonical investigation, along with detailed reports from medical and legal experts, were submitted for scientific examination by the medical consultors of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 21 October 2010. The experts of the congregation, having studied the depositions and the entire documentation with their customary scrupulousness, expressed their agreement concerning the scientifically inexplicable nature of the healing. On 14 December the theological consultors, having examined the conclusions reached by the medical experts, undertook a theological evaluation of the case and unanimously recognised the unicity, antecedence and choral nature of the invocation made to Servant of God John Paul II, whose intercession was effective in this prodigious healing.


 "Finally, on 11 January 2011 the ordinary session of the cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints took place. They expressed their unanimous approval, believing the recovery of Sr. Marie Simon Pierre to be miraculous, having been achieved by God in a scientifically inexplicable manner following the intercession of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, trustingly invoked both by Sr. Simon herself and by many other faithful".


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VATICAN CITY, 14 JAN 2011 (VIS) - Today, during a private audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Pope authorised the congregation to promulgate the following decrees:



- Venerable Servant of God John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla), Polish Supreme Pontiff (1920-2005).


- Venerable Servant of God Antonia Maria Verna, Italian foundress of the Institute of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (1773-1838).


- Venerable Servant of God Giuseppe Toniolo, Italian layman and father (1845-1918).




- Servants of God Marija Jula (nee Kata Ivanisevic), Marija Bernadeta (nee Terezija Banja,) Marija Krizina (nee Jozefa Bojanc), Marija Antonija (nee Jozefa Fabjan) and Maria Berchmana (nee Karoline Anna Leidenix), professed religions of the Institute of Daughters of Divine Charity, killed in hatred of the faith in Bosnia-Herzegovina between 15 and 23 December 1941.




- Servant of God Antonio Franco, Italian bishop of Santa Lucia del Mela (1585-1626).


- Servant of God Franziskus Maria vom Kreuze (ne Johann Baptist Jordan) German priest and founder of the Society of the Divine Saviour and of the Congregation of Sisters of the Divine Saviour (1848-1918).


- Servant of God Nelson Baker, American diocesan priest (1842-1936).


- Servant of God Faustino Perez-Manglano Magro, Spanish student and postulant of the Marianist Fathers (1946-1963).


- Servant of God Francisca de Paula de Jesus, (also called Nha Chica), Brazilian laywoman (1810-1895).


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VATICAN CITY, 14 JAN 2011 ( VIS ) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:


- Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.


 - Renata Polverini, president of the Region of Lazio , Italy .


- Gianni Alemanno, mayor of the City of Rome .


 - Nicola Zingaretti, president of the Province of Rome .

  - Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Sant'Egidio Community.


 This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.


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VATICAN CITY, 14 JAN 2011 ( VIS ) - The Holy Father:


- Appointed Fr. Christopher J. Coyne of the clergy of the archdiocese of Boston, U.S.A., pastor of the parish of St. Margaret Mary in Westwood, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Indianapolis (area 35,768, population 2,550,000, Catholics 242,000, priests 257, religious 791), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Woburn , U.S.A. in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1986.


 - Appointed Msgr. Mark L. Bartchak of the clergy of the diocese of Erie, U.S.A., judicial vicar, as bishop of Altoona-Johnstown (area 17,279, population 663,000, Catholics 107,000, priests 201, permanent deacons 29, religious 154), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Cleveland , U.S.A. in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1981. He succeeds Bishop Joseph V. Adamec, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.



- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese Rotterdam , Netherlands , presented by Bishop Adrianus Herman van Luyn S.D.B., upon having reached the age limit.


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VATICAN CITY, 3 DEC 2010 (VIS) - At 9 a .m. today in the "Redemptoris Mater" chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Pope and the pontifical family attended the first sermon of Advent.

The theme of this year's meditations which were delivered, in keeping with tradition, by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa O.F.M. Cap., preacher of the Pontifical Household, is taken from the Gospel of St. John (16, 33): "'Take courage; I have conquered the world!'. Towards a re-evangelisation of the secularised world".

The remaining Advent sermons will be given on 10 and 17 December.

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VATICAN CITY, 3 DEC 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI today received the Letters of Credence of Fernando F. Sanchez Campos, the new ambassador of Costa Rica to the Holy See, to whom he expressed his contentment at the Jubilee Year the nation is currently celebrating to mark the 375th anniversary of the discovery of the image of Our Lady of the Angels, the national patroness.

The Pope referred to Costa Ricans as "a people who centuries ago welcomed the evangelical seed, to see how it would sprout forth in countless educational, healthcare and humanitarian initiatives. Thus the children of your land well know that in Christ the Son of God man can always find the strength to combat poverty, domestic violence, unemployment and corruption, seeking social justice, the common good, and the integral progress of human beings. No-one must feel themselves to be detached from the attainment of these exalted goals", he said.

"In this context", the Pope continued, "the public authorities must be the first to seek out what is of benefit to everyone, working principally as a moral force that augments each individual's freedom and sense of responsibility. This must not undermine the fundamental values which support the inviolable dignity of the person, beginning with the unswerving protection of human life. In this context I am pleased to recall that it was in your country that the Pact of San Jose was signed, which expressly recognises the value of human life from conception. Thus it is to be hoped that Costa Rica does not violate the rights of the unborn with laws that legitimise in vitro fertilisation or abortion".

The Holy Father then turned his attention to a new legal agreement which will, he said, "reaffirm the long history of mutual collaboration, healthy independence and mutual respect between the Holy See and Costa Rica", helping to guarantee "their traditional and fruitful understanding - more stably and more in keeping with current historical circumstances - with a view to the greater good of the country's religious and civil life".

"I have made special mention of Costa Rica in my prayers, because of the tragic consequences of the torrential rains that affected the country", said Benedict XVI. "I also asked God that the nation may continue to follow the paths that make her a beacon for peace in the international community. To this end it is important that those who guide the country's destiny do not hesitate to reject impunity, juvenile delinquency, child labour, injustice and drug trafficking, encouraging such important measures as security in cities, adequate education of children and young people, due attention to those in prison and effective healthcare for everyone, ... as well as programmes to ensure that people can achieve a dignified standard of living and find decent work. Moreover, it is vital that new generations should acquire the conviction that conflicts cannot be won by mere force, but by converting hearts to goodness and truth, eradicating poverty and illiteracy, strengthening the rule of law and stimulating the independence and effectiveness of the law courts".

"A great contribution in this direction will be made if one of society's fundamental and irreplaceable pillars is strengthened: the stability and union of the family. This institution is suffering, perhaps like no other, the effects of the broad and rapid transformations of society and culture; nonetheless, it must not lose its true identity. ... Thus, no measure will be in vain if it favours, safeguards and supports marriage between a man and a woman".

"Protecting the natural environment will facilitate the defence of peace, because the two are intimately related", the Holy Father concluded. " Costa Rica has distinguished itself in the field of environmental protection and the search for a balance between human development and the safeguarding of natural resources. ... I encourage all Costa Ricans to continue to work towards what favours true human development, in harmony with the creation, while avoiding spurious and false interests, and lack of foresight in a field of such transcendent importance".

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VATICAN CITY, 3 DEC 2010 ( VIS ) - At midday today Benedict XVI received members of the International Theological Commission, who have just completed their plenary assembly.

"Your reflection on the Christian vision of God", the Pope told them, "can be a precious contribution to the life of the faithful, as well as to our dialogue with believers of other religions and with non-believers".

In "theo-logy", the Holy Father explained, "we seek, through the 'logos', to communicate what 'we have seen and heard'. ... We can think about God and communicate what we think because He has gifted us with reason in harmony with His own nature. ... Indeed, knowing God in His true nature is also the sure way to ensure peace. A God Who was not perceived as a source of forgiveness could not be a light along the path of peace".

"No theological system can subsist if it is not permeated by the love of its divine 'Subject', if it is not nourished by dialogue (that is, by acceptance in the theologian's mind and heart) with the divine 'Logos', Creator and Redeemer". In this context the Pope explained that theology "must remain faithful to the nature of ecclesial faith: centred on God, rooted in prayer, and in communion with the other disciples of the Lord as guaranteed by communion with Peter's Successor and the entire college of bishops".

Benedict XVI then highlighted how "the theologian never starts from naught, rather he considers the Fathers and theologians of Christian tradition to be his masters. Rooted in Sacred Scripture, read with the Fathers and the Doctors, theology can be a school of sanctity, as shown by Blessed John Henry Newman. Discovering the permanent value of the wealth handed down from the past is an important contribution that theologians make to the field of the sciences".

"The social commitment of Christians necessarily derives from the manifestation of divine love. Contemplating the revealed God and practicing charity towards others cannot be separated, though experienced under different charisms. In a world which often appreciates many of Christianity's gifts (such as the idea of democratic equality, which comes from evangelical monotheism) without understanding the roots of its ideals, it is particularly important to show that the fruit dies if the roots of the tree are cut. There is, in fact, no justice without truth, and justice cannot fully develop if is horizon is limited by the material world. For us as Christians, social solidarity always has an eternal perspective".

Benedict XVI concluded by highlighting how "theologians cannot work in solitude; they need the ministry of the pastors of the Church, just as the Magisterium has need of theologians who carry out their service to the full, with all the asceticism this implies".

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VATICAN CITY, 3 DEC 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolence to Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, archbishop of Naples, Italy, for the death yesterday at the age of 80 of Cardinal Michele Giordano, archbishop emeritus of that see.

"Having learned with great sadness the news of the death of Cardinal Michele Giordano, archbishop emeritus of Naples, I wish to express to Your Eminence and to the entire diocesan community, as well as to the relatives of the late cardinal, my profound commiseration at your pain, while my thoughts turn affectionately to that dear brother who served the Gospel and the Church so generously. With gratitude to the Lord I recall his intense pastoral activity, first at Trursi-Lagonegro then at Matera-Irsina, and finally in the archdiocese of Naples , and raise fervent prayers to God to welcome him in His peace. At the same time, upon those weeping his demise, I impart the comfort of a heartfelt apostolic blessing".

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VATICAN CITY, 3 DEC 2010 ( VIS ) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Bishop Agidius Zsifkovics of Eisenstadt , Austria .

- Eight prelates of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines , on their "ad limina" visit:

- Bishop Jose F. Oliveros of Malolos.

- Bishop Antonio R. Tobias of Novaliches.

- Bishop Jesse E. Mercado of Paranaque .

- Bishop Francisco C. San Diego of Pasig .

- Bishop Leo M. Drona S.D.B. of San Pablo .

- Bishop Prudencio P. Andaya C.I.C.M., apostolic vicar of Tabuk.

- Bishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle of Imus.

- Bishop Deogracias S. Iniguez of Kalookan.

This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

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VATICAN CITY, 3 DEC 2010 ( VIS ) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Alexander Pyone Cho, currently "fidei donum" priest in the diocese of Salina , U.S.A. , as bishop of Pyay (area 80,937, population 9,000,000, Catholics 25,000, priests 37, religious 67), Myanmar . The bishop-elect was born in Oatshitpin , Myanmar in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1975. He succeeds Bishop Joseph Devellerez Thaung Shwe, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Toledo , Spain , presented by Bishop Joaquin Carmelo Borobia Isasa, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Fr. Stefan Zekorn of the clergy of the diocese of Munster, Germany, rector-pastor of the Marian shrine of Kevelaer and canon of the cathedral chapter of Munster, as auxiliary of Munster (area 15,265, population 4,335,600, Catholics 2,007,335, priests 1,165, permanent deacons 270, religious 2,827). The bishop-elect was born in Datteln , Germany in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1984.

- Appointed Msgr. Carmelo Pellegrino and Fr. Alfred Simon O.S.B., respectively official and consultor of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, as relators of the same congregation.

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(C) MBE 2011