In a world where there exists a great plurality of ideas - wrote the departed prelate -, in a world marked by a constant stream of news, we must let ourselves be guided by wisdom in our decisions concerning the points of reference, the people and the institutions we place our trust in for, giving us advice, they are not without influence on our earthly and eternal life. We must be able to discern whom to listen to and whom not. And we should always listen to God rather than listening to man. Listening to God means paying more attention to Him than to the voice of our common sense, it means listening more to Him than to what we desire. God knows everything and, thus, it is worth listening to Him both on matters relating to daily and family life and on those relating to politics, culture, legislation, and philosophy including the issues of ethics, religion and faith.
A mass in memory not only of the victims of the Stalinist massacres but also of the victims of the Smolensk plane crash, in which 96 people died - including the president of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, and his wife -, was celebrated today at Warsaws military cathedral by the Apostolic Nuncio to Poland Msgr. Jozef Kowalczyk, on the occasion of the national Remembrance Day for the victims of Katyn. The text that was read out as homily was the one that Msgr. Tadeusz Ploski, Ordinary of the Polish Army who died in the accident, should have read out to commemorate the massacre of 22,000 Poles at Katyn by the USSR 70 years ago. (continued)
Then the director of the Press Room went back to the meaning of the publication of the Guide to understanding the procedures of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on abuses to minors by members of the clergy: It is normal procedure in the line of dialogue and answers as well. They ask for explanation; probably it can be useful to explain, for better understanding, too, a situation which is often confused, when there is a big accumulation of questions and speeches of various kind. The Pope - he concluded - is preparing this journey with serenity; there is no special concern for any demonstrations by the victims of abuses. They are things making up news, but it is also necessary to realise their size. In a country such as Malta, with a tradition in which the Church is constantly present, if there are demonstrations, they will be made by a small minority.
The Pope has met many people, and in this respect, he is going on being available for that, but always in an atmosphere of meditation and discretion, not under the pressure of mass media; he wants to be able to listen to the people and to communicate with them personally. This morning, those words were spoken by the director of the Vatican press room, Father Federico Lombardi. During a briefing, he illustrated the programme of the apostolic journey of the Pope to Malta on 17 and 18 April to the press. However, the Vatican spokesman stated that at the time he was neither able to announce nor exclude a meeting of Benedict XVI with a group of victims of abuses by Maltese priests, also in the light of the fact that the time is very short, and the programme really thick. To the question whether the Vatican feels in a state of siege for the events linked to abuse scandals, Father Lombardi answered not to feel in a state of siege; and I did not express this kind of attitude. (continued)
Channel existing resources more effectively, for instance, to improve transport or energy networks, or else, to face challenges such as pollution, social development, immigration and security: the macroregional strategies which the European Union is developing at this stage establish several priority goals, about which they talked in Brussels today, during a meeting promoted by the Region Committee, EU advisory body. In October 2009, the 27 Member states set a strategy for the Baltic Sea, and within 2010, a similar project for the Danube area should be ready. In this respect, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, vice president of CDR, appreciated the added value contributed by the territorial approach, pointing out, at the same time, the need to involve regional bodies right from the beginning. Speaking at the meeting, European Commissioner for regional policy Johannes Hahn stated: When groups of countries and regions decide to join their efforts to reach common goals, at the same time they strengthen EU cohesion. During the plenary session on 14 and 15 April, the CDR will adopt a report on the strategy for the Baltic Sea region.
The International Commission for Medugorje met for the first time on 26 March 2010. It was made known today, through a press release from the press room of the Holy See. The Commission, presided over by Card. Camillo Ruini, vicar general emeritus of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome, is made up of Cardinals Jozef Tomko, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; Vinko Puljić, archbishop of Vrhbosna and president of the Bishops‘ Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Josip Bοzanić, archbishop of Zagreb and vice president of the Council of the Bishops Conferences of Europe; Julián Herranz, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts. Among others, it is also made up of Msgr. Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Cause of Saints; Msgr. Tony Anatrella, psychoanalyst; Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, theologian; Father A. Maria David Jaeger, advisor of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts; Father Zdzisław Józef Kijas, speaker of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. A few experts took also part in the works of the Commission. As already announced - it is said in the note from the press room -, the Commission will keep the matter a closely-guarded secret. The conclusions will be subject to the requests from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Many people today think that faith is not necessary to live well. Thus, before educating to the faith, one must kindle it: through the first proclamation, we need to set on fire the hearts of people, trusting in the power of the Gospel that calls all people to conversion and guides them throughout their lives. This is the content of the new document issued today by the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) Proclamation and Catechesis for Christian Life, which emphasises the primacy of the first proclamation, a proclamation that is not just at the beginning of any initiation to Christian life, but is an essential dimension of every pastoral proposal, even of those aimed at believers and practising people. In many cases, in fact, the first proclamation is a real introduction to the catechumenate for adults, adolescents and children alike. In its fundamental aspects, this renewed emphasis on the person - one of the main points of the letter - marks a new era for catechesis, for it paves the way for a revision of its content, method and style, inserting it into a clear path of formation which includes various dimensions of Christian life, reads the appeal made by the CEI to the parishes. Among the priorities: catechesis for adults and young people, and the need to highlight the relationship between faith and reason by drawing attention to the moral problems that arise in the life of individuals and from social relationships.
The Letter begins by saying that the DB has been the first channel through which the conciliar documents have reached the basis: in Italy, it facilitated the birth and development of a new missionary awareness, introducing new themes, a new language, and a new working method developed in collaboration with all Italian Churches. As for the faith content, the DB showed us that the person of Jesus is the living centre of catechesis and helped us develop a renewed vision of faith according to which the goal of catechesis is not only to pass on the content of faith, but also to educate the ‘faith mentality, to introduce to ecclesial life, and to integrate faith and life, thus teaching us to read our time in the light of the word of God. In this new perspective, catechists are teachers, educators and witnesses of the faith, but every Christian in the Church, by virtue of their baptism and confirmation, is responsible for evangelisation: a common but differentiated responsibility. For the DB, this commitment to evangelisation must reach out to people in their concrete life situations. The latter are more than just the recipients of catechesis, they are actors in their faith journey. Even the social context must be looked at through the eyes of faith: hence the need to be faithful to the word of God and to the needs of the person.
Drawing the attention of the ecclesial community to the main points of the basic Document Renewal of Catechesis (DB), 40 years after its publication (1970), and stressing the positive effects it has had on pastoral action. This is the main goal of the Letter addressed by the Episcopal Commission for the Doctrine of Faith, the Announcement and Catechesis, to communities, priests and catechists entitled Proclamation and Catechesis for Christian Life. In the text - issued today - the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) points out the challenges posed to evangelisation and catechesis today, and the new needs they have to meet in the context of our country that has radically changed compared to 40 years ago. Let us not resign ourselves to living on the surface nor becoming slaves to conformism, the final appeal of the Letter, in which it is stated that, in the journey of the Italian Church, the DB has put special emphasis on the primacy of evangelisation. (continued)
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, its bishops, priests, religious and laymen convey their heartfelt condolences to the relatives of the victims and to the whole Polish nation. May the merciful Lord welcome the souls of the dead to His kingdom!. Those words were written by the leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Card. Lubomyr, in the condolence message sent to the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Ukraine, Jacek Kluczkowski, following the tragic air crash killing 96 at Smolensk Airport, Russia, last Saturday, April 10th. The message was posted at the website of UGCC yesterday evening. According to the Ukrainian independent press agency Unian, last April 11th Card. Lubomyr had taken part in a church service in memory of and in homage to the victims of the Polish Catholic Church of St. Aleksander, Kiev. We recall them in a special way - stated the major archbishop of Lviv on the occasion - because they were our neighbours and our friends.