DEVELOPING THE LEGACY OF FAITH LEFT BY OUR ANCESTORS
VATICAN CITY, 19 JUN 2011 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI travelled by helicopter from theVatican to the Republic of San Marinowhere, at 10 a.m., he presided at Mass in the Serravalle Stadium. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
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 toRimini 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 theOrientalChurch, 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 bothSan 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".
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 ofDax 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.
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 affectingSan 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.
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.
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.
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,Germanyin 1954 and ordained a priest in 1979.
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.
Handan diocese is preparing to go ahead with the episcopal ordination of Father Joseph Sun Jigen despite objection from the government.
The ordination is scheduled for June 29, the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, at Caozhuang Church in Hebei province. Bishop Stephen Yang Xiangtai will be the main consecrator to ordain Father Sun as his coadjutor.
The diocese has prepared everything for the ordination and will not change its plan. It has also informed all Catholics to begin a novena to pray for the ordination.
According to local sources, government officials rejected the date of the ordination saying it comes close to the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Communist Party of China on July 1 and also that they maintain it should be the government to decide the ordination date.
The government sees the symbolic feast day as “sensitive,” as it means “we are loyal to Rome,” a source said, adding that it also wants the presence of Joseph Guo Jincai, an illicit bishop in the same province, if the ordination were to take place.
The local Church thinks ordaining a bishop is an internal matter and only needs to inform the government not apply for approval, the source added.
Father Sun is currently making a spiritual retreat and cannot be reached. Church people have also transferred Bishop Yang, 89, to a safe place so that he will not be prevented from presiding at the ordination.
“The current situation is a test for Father Sun. If he succumbs to the government, it will split up the diocese as some priests accepted him only because it is the pope’s appointment,” a source said.
Father Sun was born in 1967. He entered the minor seminary in 1986 and the major seminary two years later. He was ordained a priest in 1995. He was appointed diocesan chancellor in 1997 and was vicar general from 2001 to 2005.
He was elected as the coadjutor bishop in 2010. He has been a member of Handan city’s People’s Political Consultative Conference since 1998.
A Church observer who preferred anonymity said that it is a “provident moment” and good sign that the Church leaders deal with the episcopal ordination on its own as it is a strictly Church matter.
|DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA REPORT: When refugees flee, they are forced to leave behind everything they know and love.|
From the Refugee Council of Australia
Refugee Week 2011 will be held from Sunday 19 June to Saturday 25 June, coinciding with World Refugee Day on Monday 20 June.
Refugee Week provides an important opportunity for asylum seekers and refugees to be seen, listened to and valued.
The theme for Refugee Week - 'Freedom from Fear' - hopes to draw attention not just to the fear that compels refugees to run, but the relief that they feel when they are welcomed into another country and given the opportunity to rebuild their lives.
It is fear – fear of persecution, fear for their own lives – that makes refugees so different from every other migrant coming to Australia: they are fleeing their own country because it is no longer safe for them to stay.
When refugees flee, they are forced to leave behind everything they know and love. They are separated from family members, lose belongings, are left with little or no money. Many spend years in camps, lost in noman’s land while their fate is decided. Most have no idea what kind of future awaits them.
In seeking refuge in another country, refugees are hoping to find freedom from this fear of persecution.
They are looking for the opportunity to lead a normal life, as part of a community, where they can live in safety and security, find work and send their children to school.And this is what we can offer them here in Australia.
On 20 June, the 10th World Refugee Day (previously known as Africa Refugee Day) will be celebrated. "It is a Day – Mgr. Nubuasah writes in a message sent to Fides – that not only serves to raise awareness of the plight of refugees, highlights the injustices that the human community has done to its members, but also celebrates the positive contributions of refugee and migrant communities".
Mgr. Nubuasah takes as example the perfect communion of the Trinity as a model for human relationships: "In the Trinity, we have a perfect community of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in loving relationship with one another, and working together to share their love with the world. It is a community of relationships which all human communities and their relationships should imitate "
With this example, the Apostolic Vicar of Francistown, asks the Catholic communities of Southern Africa to search their soul as to how the refugees living in their Countries are welcomed: "Is our relationship between us and the refugees a perfect imitation of Communion between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit? "
"As refugees and other displaced people continue to experience lack of love and suffer injustice, we implore you to create communities that imitate the Most Holy Trinity, reciprocating love and compassion", says the Apostolic Vicar of Francistown.
"As the world commemorates World Refugee Day, we, your Bishops, urge you to support refugees. We urge you as followers of Christ, to oppose the evil of xenophobia threatening to divide the community of human beings. Each person should do whatever he or she can to unite against this wickedness of xenophobia and endeavour to build communities of love", concluded Mgr. Nubuasah.
Feast: June 20
Dates of birth and death unknown. He was the son of Pope Hormisdas who had been married before becoming one of the higher clergy. Silverius entered the service of the Church and was subdeacon at Rome when Pope Agapetus died at Constantinople, 22 April, 536. The Empress Theodora, who favoured the Monophysites sought to bring about the election as pope of the Roman deacon Vigilius who was then at Constantinople and had given her the desired guarantees as to the Monophysites. However, Theodatus, King of the Ostrogoths, who wished to prevent the election of a pope connected with Constantinople, forestalled her, and by his influence the subdeacon Silverius was chosen. The election of a subdeacon as Bishop of Rome was unusual. Consequently, it is easy to understand that, as the author of the first part of the life of Silverius in the "Liber pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 210) relates, a strong opposition to it appeared among the clergy. This, however, was suppressed by Theodatus so that, finally, after Silverius had been consecrated bishop (probably on 8 June, 536) all the Roman presbyters gave their consent in writing to his elevation. The assertion made by the author just mentioned that Silverius secured the intervention of Theodatus by payment of money is unwarranted, and is to be explained by the writer's hostile opinion of the pope and the Goths. The author of the second part of the life in the "Liber pontificalis" is favourably inclined to Silverius. The pontificate of this pope belongs to an unsettled, disorderly period and he himself fell a victim to the intrigues of the Byzantine Court.
After Silverius had become pope the Empress Theodora sought to win him for the Monophysites. She desired especially to have him enter into communion with the Monophysite Patriarch of Constantinople, Anthimus, who had been excommunicated and deposed by Agapetus, and with Severus of Antioch. However, the pope committed himself to nothing and Theodora now resolved to overthrow him and to gain the papal see for Vigilius. Troublous times befell Rome during the struggle that broke out in Italy between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines after the death of Amalasuntha, daughter of Theodoric the Great. The Ostrogothic king, Vitiges, who ascended the throne in August, 536, besieged the city. The churches over the catacombs outside of the city were devastated, the graves of the martyrs in the catacombs themselves were broken open and desecrated. In December, 536, the Byzantine general Belisarius garrisoned Rome and was received by the pope in a friendly and courteous manner. Theodora sought to use Belisarius for the carrying out of her plan to depose Silverius and to put in his place the Roman deacon Vigilius, formerly apocrisary at Constantinople, who had now gone to Italy. Antonina, wife of Belisarius, influenced her husband to act as Theodora desired. By means of a forged letter the pope was accused of a treasonable agreement with the Gothic king who was besieging Rome. It was asserted that Silverius had offered the king to leave one of the city gates secretly open so as to permit the Goths to enter. Silverius was consequently arrested in March, 537, roughly stripped of his episcopal dress, given the clothing of a monk and carried off to exile in the East. Vigilius was consecrated Bishop of Rome in his stead.
Silverius was taken to Lycia where he was went to reside at Patara. The Bishop of Patara very soon discovered that the exiled pope was innocent. He journeyed to Constantinople and was able to lay before the Emperor Justinian such proofs of the innocence of the exile that the emperor wrote to Belisarius commanding a new investigation of the matter. Should it turn out that the letter concerning the alleged plot in favour of the Goths was forged, Silverius should be placed once more in possession of the papal see. At the same time the emperor allowed Silverius to return to Italy, and the latter soon entered the country, apparently at Naples. However, Vigilius arranged to take charge of his unlawfully deposed predecessor. He evidently acted in agreement with the Empress Theodora and was aided by Antonina, the wife of Belisarius. Silverius was taken to the Island of Palmaria in the Tyrrhenian Sea and kept their in close confinement. Here he died in consequence of the privations and harsh treatment he endured. The year of his death is unknown, but he probably did not live long after reachingPalmaria. He was buried on the island, according to the testimony of the "Liber pontificalis" on 20 June; his remains were never taken from Palmaria. According to the same witness he was invoked after death by the believers who visited his grave. In later times he was venerated as a saint. The earliest proof of this is given by a list of saints of the eleventh century (Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire, 1893, 169). The "Martyrologium" of Peter de Natalibus of the fourteenth century also contains his feast, which is recorded in the present Roman Martyrology on 20 June.
[Editor's note: According to the Liber Pontificalis, Pope St. Silverius was exiled not to Palmaria, but rather to the Island of Palmarola, a much smaller and more desolate island near Ponza, Italy, in the Bay of Naples.]