Newscast Media ROME—Pope Benedict XVI has made an urgent appeal to civil and political authorities to work for peace. The Pope’s heartfelt cry came on Monday during his annual address to Members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See.
Speaking to representatives of the 179 States that currently have full diplomatic relations with the Vatican, as well as members of numerous international organizations such as the EU, the Order of Malta and the PLO, Pope Benedict emphasized that world leaders have a grave responsibility to work for peace. They are the first – he said – called to resolve the numerous conflicts causing bloodshed in our human family.
The Pope went on to list urgent areas of concern starting with Syria which he described as being “torn apart by endless slaughter and the scene of dreadful suffering among its civilian population”.
“I renew my appeal for a ceasefire” – the Pope said – “and for the inauguration as quickly as possible of a constructive dialogue aimed at putting an end to a conflict which will know no victors but only vanquished if it continues, leaving behind it nothing but a field of ruins”.
Staying with the peacemaking theme, the Holy Father had strong words of preoccupation for the Holy Land where – he said – Israelis and Palestinians must “commit themselves to peaceful coexistence within the framework of two sovereign states”.
Benedict went on to mention Iraq, Lebanon, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the DRC, Mali, the Central African Republic and Nigeria which – he observed – is regularly the scene of terrorist attacks which reap victims above all among the Christian faithful
gathered in prayer.
The Pope also condemned “religious fanaticism” which he said is a falsification of religion itself since religion aims at reconciling men and women with God.
Looking also at signs of promise around the globe, the Pope said that peace building always comes about by the protection of human beings and their fundamental rights. Foremost among these – he stressed – “is respect for human life at every stage”, and in this regard he expressed gratification for a Council of Europe resolution calling for the prohibition of euthanasia.
Newscast Media VATICAN CITY—Pope Benedict XVI has sent a telegram to Bishop Rodolfo Valenzuela Nunez of Vera Paz, president of the Episcopal Conference of Guatemala, for the recent earthquake there which has caused dozens of deaths and left hundreds injured throughout the country:
“Deeply saddened to hear the painful news of the earthquake which has left many
dead and injured, as well as immeasurable material damage in your beloved country, I
wish to express my spiritual closeness to all citizens. I offer fervent prayers for the
eternal repose of the victims and pray to the Almighty that He may grant consolation
to those affected by this terrible disaster, and inspire in everyone sentiments of
fraternal solidarity to face this adversity.
“I also earnestly encourage the Christian communities, civil institutions and men and
women of goodwill to lend their assistance to the victims, with generosity of spirit
and willing charity”.
Newscast Media VATICAN—The trial against Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler, Paolo Gabriele, concluded Saturday morning, with a guilty verdict and 18 month prison sentence. However the Holy See Press Office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi, has not ruled out the possibility of a Papal pardon.
Following the fourth and final hearing the President of the Vatican Court – Judge dalla Torre – read out the verdict finding the defendant guilty of aggravated theft of the Holy Father’s personal and private documents.
Journalists present said the accused listened impassively to the sentence after earlier declaring he did not see himself as a thief and adding he had acted “out of love for the Church and for its leader on earth.” During his final statement to the court, Gabriele confirmed he had acted alone and without accomplices.
The charge of aggravated theft usually carries a sentence of four years in prison. However the court took into account extenuating circumstances: these include Gabriele’s claim – even if erroneous – that he was acting for the good of the Church and his admission of having wounded the Holy Father.
A partial ban was handed down on any future employment. Should Gabriele remain a Vatican employee he will not be allowed to work in any offices that deal with ” judicial, administrative or legal” affairs.
Paolo Gabriele’s lawyer has not ruled out the possibility of appealing the sentence, given what she has described as “holes” in the judicial investigation. However Ms Arrua also described Saturday’s verdict as “balanced”.
For now she said Paolo Gabriele will remain under house arrest in his family home in Vatican City State. The Court must meet again to decide if and when Gabriel will be imprisoned.
The Director of the Vatican Press Office, Fr Federico Lombardi, praised the “total independence” of the Vatican court and the speed with which it arrived at the sentence – which he described as “clement and just”. He also left open the possibility of a pardon by Pope Benedict XVI.
Newscast Media VATICAN CITY—The case of the personal documents stolen from Pope Benedict XVI and published by Italian press continues to attract the interest of international media, to the point that in an impromptu speech at the end of his weekly appointment with the faithful from around the world, the Pope himself addressed it directly.
“The events of recent days”, he said, “have brought sadness to my heart, but never obscured my firm conviction that despite trials, difficulties and weaknesses, the Lord does not abandon his Church.”
“Nevertheless,” continued the Pope “some entirely gratuitous allegations have spread, amplified by some media, which went well beyond the facts, offering a picture of the Holy See that does not correspond to reality.” Pope Benedict concluded, saying, “I would like therefore to reiterate my confidence and my encouragement to my staff and to all those who, day in and day out, faithfully and with a spirit of sacrifice, quietly help me in fulfilling my ministry.”
One of those collaborators, Holy See Press Office Director, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., met with press for a third straight day Wednesday in a briefing that consisted largely in deflating many of those rumors of which the Pope had spoken in his audience.
He reiterated that the only person arrested and formally charged for the theft of the Pope’s personal documents remains Paolo Gabriele and there are no others, lay or clergy, currently detained – as reported by some press. That Gabriele met again Wednesday morning with his lawyers who have formulated a request for his release under house arrest. That his formal interrogation would take place in the coming days.
Fr. Lombardi again underlined that the official investigation into the criminal act of theft is being carried out by the Vatican Gendarme (police force) and magistrates. That the Commission of Cardinals’ inquiry into the source of leaked Vatican documents was a separate if parallel effort to arrive at the truth.
Fr. Lombardi again corrected press claims that documents ready to be sent to specific recipients were found in Gabriele’s home, but – he added – the material found in the Butler’s possession is still being studied and cataloged.
Fr. Lombardi again stressed the importance of truth and objectivity in reporting on this case which is not only a source of pain for the Pope but for the faithful worldwide.
“I think that our will to reach the truth, the desire for clarity, for transparency – arrived at gradually over time – this is how we are trying to handle this new situation: in all honesty we are trying to understand what objectively happened. But first, whatever we do, we must remember respect for the privacy and protection of the person and for the truth”.
In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, another of the Pope’s closest collaborators, Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the Substitute of the Secretariat of State, stated that the Holy Father was not merely “robbed of letters”, but the act of stealing and publishing those letters was an act of “violence on the consciences of
those who turn to him as Vicar of Christ in full confidence”.
He also dismissed the principal “that the end justifies the means”. This has been claimed by the anonymous sources who provided the leaked documents to the press and the journalists who published them, in the name of greater transparency and reform in the Church. How can any reform, he asked, be based on flouting moral laws? Stealing is immoral.
Responding to journalists questions on reports of the Pope’s possible resignation Fr. Lombardi dismissed the rumors as some journalists’ “hobbyhorse”. The Curia he concluded – “continues to express solidarity with the Pope and to operate in full communion with the Successor of Peter. At this time and in this situation we can only express our great appreciation for the Holy Father, for his ministry, his demonstration of unity, coherence and consistency in dealing with this situation.”
But perhaps it was best put by Benedict XVI, who in his Wednesday audience observed: “Faced with conflict in human relationships, even within the family, often we fail to persevere in gratuitous love, which demands effort and sacrifice. Instead, God does not tire of us, He never grows tired of being patient with us and with his immense mercy He is always before us, He always comes to encounter us.”
Newscast Media VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI prayed that the year 2012 be lived by all under the sign of reciprocal respect and of the common good, and expressing the hope that no act of violence be committed in the name of God, Who is the Supreme Guarantor of justice and peace.
The Pope’s prayer came at the end of remarks he delivered during a special audience for the officers and functionaries of the Italian State Police detail charged with serving the area of St. Peter’s and the Vatican.
The Holy Father expressed to all his personal gratitude and that of his collaborators for what he called, “the precious and delicate work” that they do in maintaining public order, guaranteeing security and tranquility to the millions of pilgrims and tourists who visit the square and the Basilica each year.
The Pope encouraged the officers and functionaries of the Inspectorate to be authentic promoters of justice and sincere builders of peace. http://www.newscastmedia.com/pope-benedict.html
Newscast Media MADRID, Spain — On his arrival in Madrid Benedict XVI invites the youth to be witnesses of hope and confidence. The current crisis confirms the necessity for an ethical foundation to place the economy at the service of man…
We cannot recover from the crisis which continues to embroil the world if we are not ready to recognize that the economy is not measured according to the logic of profit but according to the common good, through responsibility for others, for one’s own nation, for the world and for the future. In this logic, the concept of duty also plays its part, especially in Europe, to protect the planet and guarantee work for everyone. With his thoughts turned to the great questions which confront human society today, Benedict XVI began his trip to Madrid, Thursday morning, August 18th, for the 26th World Youth Day.
The Pope placed a triple mission in the hands of young people: to make visible the presence of God, to open borders and create space for friendship. For these reasons, World Youth Day needs to continue. Aboard the papal plane en route to Madrid, the Pope answered questions from some of the 56 media journalists and operators traveling with him; only part of the nearly 5,000 accredited media who will guarantee wide coverage of the event.
The first question on the connection between World Youth Day and its creator, John Paul II, Pope Ratzinger spoke of “an inspiration,” and “a great idea” on the part of the Polish Pontiff. World Youth Days are a, “cascade of light, a signal.” They make the faith and the presence of God in the world visible, increasing young people’s “courage” to believe. Thanks to these meetings, in fact, believers do not feel alone and are able to experience “the large network” of faith and friendship. A network, explained the Pope, which links the world and God, and represents, “and important reality for the future of humanity.”
As to the second question on the crisis and involvement of young people in recent protests, Benedict XVI reaffirmed the concept of the centrality of man and the necessity of an ethical foundation in economic processes. As for young people, the Pontiff was very clear: “if the youth of today have no prospects, our today has made a mistake.” The Church, for its part, in its social doctrine, “opens many up to the possibility of renouncing profit and seeing things in the religious and humanistic dimension, that is to live for one another.” Thanks to God, the Pope added, “a better world is possible.”
Dialogue and tolerance were the topics of the third question. Benedict XVI took the occasion to reiterate that, “truth is accessible only in freedom. You can impose upon others through violence…but not the truth! Truth is only open to freedom and free consent: freedom and truth are so intimately united, that the one is the condition for the other.”
Finally, returning to the topic of the first question, the Pope said that World Youth Day is not quantifiable in terms of numbers and statistics because, “God always sows seeds in silence.” It is a “message of hope,” the Pope said again in his first address upon arrival in Madrid, which fills “us with confidence before the future” and gives young people “a reason to hope” despite worries and difficulties.
Newscast Media VATICAN CITY, Vatican –The head of the Catholic church, Pope Benedict XVI, named 24 new cardinals Wednesday, putting his mark on the body that will elect his successor and giving a boost to Italian hopes to regain the papacy. Benedict said the new “princes of the church” will be formally elevated at a ceremony in Rome on Nov. 20, making the announcement “with joy” at the end of his weekly public audience.
The new cardinals include Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., and Archbishop Raymond Burke, an American who leads the Vatican’s supreme court and has been sharply critical of the U.S. Democratic Party for its support of abortion rights.
Among the new cardinals are two Americans and prelates from key posts in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Other key posts include Warsaw, Poland; Munich; Kinshasa, Congo; Quito, Equador; Aparecida, Brazil; Lusaka, Zambia; Colombo, Sri Lanka; and the leader in Egypt of the Catholic Coptic church, who is currently heading a Vatican meeting on the plight of Christians in the Middle East.
Cardinals are close advisers to a pope, but their key job is to elect the pontiff. With the installation of the new cardinals, Benedict in just five years has named nearly half of the 120 prelates under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave following the death of a pope. Eight of the new cardinals under 80 are Italians, giving them a total of 25 nearly half of the Europeans in the electing body of the College of Cardinals.
Italians held the papacy for 455 years until the election of Poland’s John Paul II in 1978, followed by the German-born Benedict in 2005. http://newscastmedia.com/cardinals.htm
Newscast Media –Across Great Britain, churches are waiting in eager anticipation for the Pope’s four-day visit which begins on Thursday in Edinburgh, where he will meet Scottish Catholic leaders before traveling to Glasgow to hold an open air mass in Bellahouston Park in the evening.
Churches including the Methodist Church, United Reform Church, Church of God of Prophecy, Church of England, Salvation Army, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and many more have opened their arms and spoken of their hope for a renewed common witness, following the Pope’s visit to the UK this week.
In a joint statement, the Presidents of Churches Together in England, Archbishops Rowan Williams and Vincent Nichols, and Salvation Army Commissioner Betty Matear said, “As the Presidents of Churches Together in England, we welcome Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom.
“We rejoice in knowing that many Christians have prayed for him in preparation for his visit, and welcome his ministry amongst us.
“We look forward to joining Pope Benedict in Westminster Abbey for the celebration of Evening Prayer, which will be a significant stage in his pilgrimage.
“We pray that through our celebration of Christian faith the Church, led by the kindly light of Christ, may be renewed in its witness to the unity and hope which is Christ’s will for all people.”
This will be the first visit to Britain by a pontiff since John Paul II in 1989. During his stay, Pope Benedict will also meet the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.